Lamp May 2017

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A higher minimum wage benefits all

The therapeutic benefits of medical marijuana

Health concerns over WestConnex

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page 18

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Your rights and entitlements at work Nurse Uncut – your stories What nurses and midwives said Nursing research online

p.37 p.39 p.41 p.43



THE LAMP MAY 2017 | 1


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CONTENTS Contacts NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association For all membership enquiries and assistance, including Lamp subscriptions and change of address, contact our Sydney office. Sydney Office 50 O’Dea Avenue, Waterloo NSW 2017 (all correspondence) T 8595 1234 (metro) 1300 367 962 (non-metro) F 9662 1414 E W

VOLUME 74 NO. 4 | MAY 2017

Hunter Office 8-14 Telford Street, Newcastle East NSW 2300 NSWNMA Communications Manager Janaki Chellam-Rajendra T 1300 367 962 For all editorial enquiries letters and diary dates T 8595 1234 E 50 O’Dea Avenue, Waterloo NSW 2017 Produced by Hester Communications T 9568 3148 Press Releases Send your press releases to: F 9662 1414 E


Editorial Committee Brett Holmes, NSWNMA General Secretary Judith Kiejda, NSWNMA Assistant General Secretary Coral Levett, NSWNMA President Peg Hibbert, Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Hospital Michelle Cashman, Long Jetty Continuing Care Richard Noort, Justice Health


Linda’s Canberra crusade to save penalty rates Aged care nurses from around the country made the trek to Canberra to speak truth to power about the importance of penalty rates in keeping skilled staff in their sector.

Advertising Danielle Nicholson T 8595 2139 or 0429 269 750 F 9662 1414 E Information & Records Management Centre To find archived articles from The Lamp, or to borrow from the NSWNMA nursing and health collection, contact: Jeannette Bromfield, Coordinator. T 8595 2175 E The Lamp ISSN: 0047-3936 General Disclaimer The Lamp is the official magazine of the NSWNMA. Views expressed in articles are contributors’ own and not necessarily those of the NSWNMA. Statements of fact are believed to be true, but no legal responsibility is accepted for them. All material appearing in The Lamp is covered by copyright and may not be reproduced without prior written permission. The NSWNMA takes no responsibility for the advertising appearing herein and it does not necessarily endorse any products advertised. Privacy Statement The NSWNMA collects personal information from members in order to perform our role of representing their industrial and professional interests. We place great emphasis on maintaining and enhancing the privacy and security of your personal information. Personal information is protected under law and can only be released to someone else where the law requires or where you give permission. If you have concerns about your personal information, please contact the NSWNMA office. If you are still not satisfied that your privacy is being maintained, you can contact the Privacy Commission.

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PENALTY RATES Move to slash nurses’ Sunday rates

A major health care company has revealed the hollowness of the claim that penalty rate cuts would never be inflicted on nurses.

MINIMUM WAGES ACTU: a higher minimum wage benefits all


Australia’s minimum wage has fallen to a dangerously low level at the expense of all workers, not just the low paid, says the ACTU..

MEDICINAL CANNABIS The therapeutic benefits of marijuana


There is now ample scientific evidence supporting the medical effectiveness of cannabis, but outdated community attitudes and the law remain obstacles to its use.


Health concerns over WestConnex Sydney’s WestConnex road and tunnel project is riddled with health issues, argue activists.


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A higher minimum wage benefits all

The therapeutic benefits of medical marijuana

Health concerns over WestConnex

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Your rights and entitlements at work Nurse Uncut – your stories What nurses and midwives said Nursing research online

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OUR COVER: NSWNMA member Linda Hardman AiN Photographed by Sharon Hickey THE LAMP MAY 2017 | 3

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Be alert, be aware and join the fight to defend penalty rates When it comes to workers’ rights and living standards the Turnbull government loves to play the politics of the empty gesture. What is needed is meaningful action to protect our standards of living. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said he was ‘putting Australians first’ by giving them priority for jobs currently open to overseas workers when he announced the government was abolishing the 457 temporary work visa.

the lowest since records began in the 1990s.

Immediately the ACTU refuted the claim that this was a significant change in policy. ACTU President Ged Kearney, in a comprehensive analysis, pointed out that less than one in ten jobs had been eliminated from the scheme and

“The biggest challenge we have is to ensure what Australians are earning every week is increasing,” he said.

Responding to the ABS figures Treasurer Scott Morrison claimed that low wage growth was the “biggest challenge” facing the Australian government.

Within days he, the Prime Minister and the rest of the government were

‘The government is clinging to tired ideas that have only delivered inequality for working people.’ the requirement to market test for Australian workers’ availability was still left up to the employer. There is no doubt, nurses and midwives brought to Australia have filled shortages where Australianeducated nurses have either not been encouraged sufficiently to move to or where skill levels have not matched jobs. It is, however, alarming that the sudden concern for Australian jobs and changes to citizenship requirements are seemingly in response to a political agenda beyond these policies. This is not the first time the government has shed crocodile tears for Australian workers. The Fair Work Commission’s decision to cut Sunday penalty rates for thousands of low paid workers came the day after the Bureau of Statistics found that wages growth had been

endorsing a pay cut for the lowest paid in the country.

NURSES AND MIDWIVES ARE NOT IMMUNE FROM CUTS TO PENALTY RATES Malcolm Turnbull said it was “absurd” and “ridiculous” to claim that the Commission’s decision to cut penalty rates could affect nurses. Not long after the Prime Minister voiced his support for the Commission’s decision and claimed that nurses were immune to a roll back of penalty rates a major health care company Sonic Health Plus were proposing exactly that (see pp10-11). Sonic, which employs hundreds of nurses across Australia tried to cut Sunday penalty rates from 75 per cent to 50 per cent in EBA talks. Sonic was not alone. In aged care we have seen the same thing (see pp 12-13). As my colleague Lee Thomas said:

“Sonic Health proves that employers are now lining up to start stripping away penalty rates from nurses and other employees”. What has always underpinned decent living standards for Australian workers are well paid, unionised jobs, protected penalty rates, a strong safety net, a universal health system, educational opportunities for all our children and livable retirement incomes. All these rights have been under attack by the Coalition. The government always hides behind the language of neoliberalism and trickle down economics to justify these attacks. Cutting penalty rates and cutting corporate taxes will create more jobs, they say. This is a stale policy of privatisation, fiscal austerity, deregulation, free trade, and reductions in government spending in order to increase the role of the private sector in the economy and society and Australians deserve better. Recently our new ACTU Secretary Sally McManus copped an enormous amount of flak when she said “neoliberalism had run its course”. It was interesting that Paul Keating, the architect of the open Australian economy, immediately supported her position. The government is clinging to tired ideas that have only delivered inequality for working people.Trusting the market or the benevolence of employers to maintain living standards is a demonstrable failure. It’s time for a new course and Malcolm Turnbull could make a start by stepping up to the plate and protecting penalty rates in law. ■

THE LAMP MAY 2017 | 5



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In response to your article in March 2017 regarding nurse concerns about health and safety issues in residential aged care facilities, I would like to express my concern about the lack of support for these residents when they are required to leave the facility for an appointment. It is very rare to find a nurse escort accompanying these folk and indeed, often a family member is designated to be the escort. These family members are generally ill equipped to provide the necessary care. I work in health transport and part of my role is to transport these folk to their appointments. More often than not, we are going to private diagnostic centres, where there is no, or limited, nursing support available, which poses a significant threat to the comfort and safety of this very vulnerable group. We have been advised that if a nurse was sent as an escort, then the family would be responsible for the cost of that nurse. As a registered nurse, it is my responsibility to hand over the care of the patients in my care safely, and if there is no appropriate nursing staff to do that, then I am clearly failing in my responsibility if I do not remain with the patient myself. This has obvious implications in that other transfers awaiting my attention are then delayed. There has to be a way to redirect some funding to ensure that patients who require a nurse escort are provided with one, without undue financial impact on families and ensuring the safety and comfort of the vulnerable resident while away from their facility. I applaud the aged care nurses for their battle, but strongly believe they need to add this item to their agenda. T McNamara, RN, NEPT, Mt Hutton

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More empathy, fewer putdowns I wish to bring up a concern that shook me when I recently heard a young agency RN say “that’s so gay”. The RN in question was friendly and good to work with. However, it didn’t seem that her studies, nor lessons or discussions in her course, had awoken an epiphany of truth in her: that nursing work is not just helping people on a physical level – it’s also about empathy and a duty of care. For anyone who’s not heard that mutation of an expression, the intent behind it is to put down someone or state a negativity. Frankly, it screams intolerance of ‘the other’: it’s them versus us; presumed second-class citizens versus the assumed mainstream powerful. When I tell that younger generation the phrase is as offensive as saying “that’s so [insert minority / otherculture here]”, they look slightly shocked when they realise that such a simple phrase could have negative and anti-social intentions and contexts. When questioned, they always reply that they didn’t mean to use it to offend. But they forget (or are ignorant) that words can be dangerous (the well-known phrase “the pen is mightier than the sword” illustrates this). As I write this, Pauline Hanson was shown on ABC TV’s Insiders, making a new offensive comment regarding Muslims. Then they showed Malcolm Turnbull saying

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that what she’d said was not good. Yet he and his lot are promoting their ‘need’ to allow for more ‘freedom of speech’ via watering down the 18C clause of the Racial Discrimination Act of 1975. But clearly, when pointed out, people (even ignorant/arrogant politicians) can recognise how words and phrasing can be dangerous – especially if they or their cronies have been at the receiving end. Then they whinge and cry unfair. I remember when John Howard wanted to bring in a level of censorship (soon before he was voted out of his prime ministership) where cartoons and caricatures of politicians could be censored. How things change. Free speech is not the issue here; it’s the consequences that can spring from ill-used words. Free speech is like driving a car – it should be used responsibly. Even if most of us are mature enough to not be offended by such a stupid phrase as “that’s so gay”, we should still be vigilant and nip such careless comments in the bud and inform the speaker as to why they shouldn’t be said. There are patients, residents and clients who are in our care who may be vulnerable and can feel intimidated by such words, especially if they’ve experienced homophobic violence and bullying in the past or are simply not confident with their sexuality: three things which, as we know, can lead to self-hatred, self-harm, perpetual violence from the receivers, drug abuse and even suicide. Tony Rogers AIN, Wentworth Falls

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Nothing fair about moving the goalposts I started working in Australia in 2012 as an RN. I have worked in public hospitals in three states, in urban and rural areas. Under existing guidelines, I have waited for Australian nurses to apply for jobs before being offered a position in my field of expertise. This November I am eligible to apply for citizenship. That was, until an announcement by the Prime Minister and Mr Dutton. I am gutted. Just eight months before I am able to apply, I am now told I have to wait four more years and then sit an English exam, for the third time (one to get into Australia, another for permanent residency, now another for citizenship). All the while working as an RN in public hospitals. Skilled migrants make up 68% of the migrant 2014-15 population. How many people will no longer see Australia as a place they want to live and become citizens? Giving back is important and citizenship is a big part of that. I hope that we are able to convince the government to reconsider the four-year wait between permanent residence and citizen application, especially for those who had less than 12 months to wait before they had the chance to become Australian. Does Australia care about its immigrants or take our skills for granted? I’m not as sure as I was yesterday. Ronald Bangalando RN, Randwick

Thanks for going the extra mile I want to say thanks to our nurses in Murwillumbah (and across the far north coast) who worked around the clock during the recent devastating floods to provide care to patients when other staff were unable to get into the town to get to work. Angie Gittus RN CNS, Cabarita

THE LAMP MAY 2017 | 7


Linda’s Canberra crusade to save penalty rates Aged care nurses from around the country made the trek to Canberra to speak truth to power about the importance of penalty rates in keeping skilled staff in their sector.


hen the NSWNMA asked Wollongong Assistant in Nursing Linda Hardman to travel to Canberra to talk to Opposition Leader Bill Shorten about penalty rates, she jumped at the opportunity. “I wasn’t going to miss the chance to explain how cutting penalty rates would impact individual aged care nurses and the sector as a whole,” said Linda, who has worked in aged care for 16 years. Linda joined several aged care nurses from other states in a meeting with the ALP leader at his Parliament House office. The meeting followed Mr Shorten’s introduction of legislation that aims to stop cuts to penalty rates following the Fair Work Commission’s February ruling reducing Sunday rates for hospitality, retail and fast food workers. The meeting lasted almost an hour and Linda said he listened carefully to what the nurses had to say. “You can tell when people are listening for real and when they’re not. He was very interested to learn just how important penalty rates were to people’s lives. “I told him that if we lost penalty rates in aged care I would definitely have to re-evaluate whether to stay in the sector or move to an area of nursing where penalty rates still apply. “Cutting penalty rates is the 8 | THE LAMP MAY 2017

‘ Without penalty rates we would end up with a low-skilled, inexperienced workforce because those with skills would move to other sectors.’ — Linda Hardman AiN biggest issue on the radar because it would risk a mass exodus from aged care. “Without penalty rates we would end up with a low-skilled, inexperienced workforce because those with skills would move to other sectors. “I explained that we are already at risk of losing some RNs in NSW and we need to be doing things to maintain and strengthen the skill mix, not weaken it. “He promised the Opposition would raise the issue as often as possible, in order to safeguard penalty rates. “I welcome that because all the girls at work have been asking me whether our penalty rates are under threat. “I explained they are not threatened at the moment but it’s a case of being proactive and standing up for them now. “To be asked to go to parliament to represent aged care workers was wonderful. It was a privilege for me to be the only AiN at the meeting and the only rank-and-file representative of the NSWNMA.”

PENALTY RATES A MAJOR PORTION OF AN EN’S PAY Queensland enrolled nurse Pat McLean, who has worked in aged care for over 38 years, told the Labor leader that penalty rates make up a major portion of her pay. “Even as an enrolled nurse in full time employment I am still classed as a low-income worker – that’s how low the pay is,” she said. “I realised this when I went to get a home loan. I wasn’t able to get a home loan until they factored in my penalty rates. That’s how important they are to people like us.” Lee Thomas, federal secretary of the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation, led the delegation to Parliament House. She said nurses and AINs across the country are similarly anxious about losing Sunday penalty rates. “We estimate a registered nurse stands to lose around $2000, with an AiN losing $1200. It’s little wonder that our members are so concerned and why they’re questioning if they will stay in the profession.”


SAVING PENALTY RATES: Linda Hardman meets with Bill Shorten

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT URGED TO SAVE PENALTY RATES After the meeting, the nurses moved to the House of Representatives chamber to see Mr Shorten raise the issue in question time. He told parliament it was “an absolute travesty” that from 1 July, a millionaire will get a $17,000 tax cut but a retail worker will get a $77 a week pay cut. “This parliament has never had a more straightforward choice than it does today.

Blackburn lawyers, warned the Fair Work Commission’s reasoning that consumers now expected services to be available outside “normal hours” left the door open for penalty rate cuts in nursing and health care, transport, security, construction, mining and factories. He said, “much of the reasoning relied upon in the penalty rates decision could be adopted when reviewing awards in other industries,” including workers in “aged and health care (particularly non-essential care) and nursing,

Sign the petition Malcolm Turnbull still refuses to stand up for working Australians and pass laws that would protect our penalty rates. Sign the ACTU petition and tell the Prime Minister that he needs to act to protect the pay of weekend workers. https://www. weekend-workers-don’tdeserve-a-pay-cut

‘ From 1 July, a millionaire will get a $17,000 tax cut but a retail worker will get a $77 a week pay cut.’ “There is no wriggle room, there is no fence to sit on, there’s no hole to go hide in. “You can either vote to save the Sunday pay rates of young people, women, people in the regions – workers who rely upon these penalty rates – or you can vote to endorse cutting them.” Mr Turnbull later dismissed as “absurd” any claim the commission’s decision could affect police officers and nurses. “It’s ridiculous,” he told radio FiveAA in Adelaide. However, a leading employment lawyer, Giri Sivaraman of Maurice

where it isn’t deemed to be in an ‘essential service’.” Lee Thomas said the findings were a clear warning that nurses, midwives and assistants in nurses, particularly those working in the low-paid aged care sector, were vulnerable to the loss of penalty rates. “We’ve long been concerned that ANMF members working in so-called ‘non-essential’ services like aged care, would be next in line and now this legal advice confirms they are open to attack from the FWC,” she said. ■

THE LAMP MAY 2017 | 9


Move to slash nurses’ Sunday rates A major health care company has revealed the hollowness of the claim that penalty rate cuts would never be inflicted on nurses.

S ‘ Prime Minister Turnbull must stand up for working Australians and end any excuse for employers to cut wages.’ — Ged Kearney, ACTU President

10 | THE LAMP MAY 2017

onic Health Plus, which employs hundreds of nurses across Australia, has proposed to cut Sunday penalty rates from 75 per cent to 50 per cent. It made the move just weeks after its parent company, Sydneybased Sonic Healthcare, announced a net profit of $196.7 million for the six months to December. Sonic’s move on penalty rates sparked an angry social media response from thousands of nurses and supporters. Many posted messages of protest on the company’s Facebook page though these were later removed. So strong was the backlash that Sonic withdrew the proposal within a few days. The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation announced the company’s backdown via twitter: We did it. Thousands of you responded and #nurses at Sonic HealthPlus will keep their Sunday #penaltyrates. Thanks for your amazing support. pic.twitter. com/ligzTjT4Vm — ANMF (@anmfbetterhands) March 23, 2017 The company was clearly stung by the social media campaign, which included a meme based on the Sonic logo. Its lawyers wrote to nursing unions demanding they remove the Sonic logo from their websites. In reply, A NM F Federa l Secretary Lee Thomas wrote: “We assure you we will continue to report accurately to our members on all proposals which might affect their wages and conditions

during bargaining. “Although we reject all your assertions and reasoning, as a show of good will, the ANMF has removed the media posts using Sonic HealthPlus’ logo.”

COMPANY’S ATTACK THE “START OF A SLIPPERY SLOPE” In a media statement she described the company’s proposal as the “start of the slippery slope” for nurses working in so-called “non-essential” areas of health service delivery. “As soon as the FWC slashed penalty rates (in February) we warned that employers in health and aged care would have a go – it was only a matter of time,” she said. “Sonic Health Plus just proves that employers are now lining-up to start stripping away penalty rates from nurses and other employees. “The slippery slope we’ve been warning about is fast becoming a reality.” Sonic put forward penalty rate cuts as part of its attempt to amalgamate three enterprise bargaining agreements (EBAs) into a single agreement which reduces many entitlements for nurses. The t hree EBA s include the Medibank Health Services Agreement, that covers nurses at Travel Doctor (travel vaccinations) and Workplace Health (pre-employment health checks), who are paid a 75 per cent Sunday loading under a union-negotiated agreement. The other two EBAs were made without union involvement and do not pay Sunday penalty rates. They cover mainly primary health care nurses.


As part of its move to a new, single EBA the company is also seeking to:

‘ Sonic Health Plus just proves that employers are now lining up to start stripping away penalty rates from nurses and other employees.’

— Lee Thomas, ANMF Federal Secretary

• Cut public holiday rates for casuals • Cut parental leave from 14 weeks to 4 weeks • Cut annual leave entitlements • Offset any loading against the casual loading (if you get one you don’t get the other) • Reduce notice periods for change of rosters • Remove any obligation on the company to consult with its employees and their union. Lee Thomas said the ANMF would continue to negotiate with Sonic for a “fair and reasonable” agreement with no reduction in existing conditions.

ACTU: TURNBULL HAS EMBOLDENED EMPLOYERS ACTU President Ged Kearney said that without the support of the ANMF, “these nurses would absolutely receive further pay cuts.” She said it was no coincidence that Sonic Health Plus made its move “just a few days after Prime Minister Turnbull said he

supported the penalty rate cuts.” “This is a sign of the times; the Fair Work Commission decision to cut penalty rates has emboldened employers and no Australian worker is safe unless the government steps in now. “Penalty rates and take home pay must be protected. Prime Minister Turnbull must stop the cuts, stand up for working Australians and end any excuse for employers to cut wages.” Sonic Healthcare is the world’s third largest provider of pathology/clinical laboratory services and employs 31,000 people. It is the largest private laboratory operator in Australia, Germany, Switzerland and the UK, the second largest in Belgium and New Zealand and within the top five in the USA. In addition, Sonic is the largest operator of medical centres and the largest occupational health provider in Australia. ■

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Nurses and midwives working in parts of the health and aged care sectors could be at risk of losing their penalty rates and entitlements.

A report commissioned by the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) found a public sector nurse or midwife would lose over $1900 per year if their Sunday penalty rates were reduced to Saturday rates.

Download and sign the pledge to stop the attack on our penalty rates and save our weekend:

To find out more, download the McKell Institute report: uploads/2016/01/McKell-Institute-report.pdf THE LAMP MAY 2017 | 11


Penalty rates not safe in aged care Who says nurses are immune from penalty rate cuts?


stia Health tried to reduce Sunday rates early on during talks for a new enterprise agreement (EA). Finalised last month, the EA replaces separate agreements covering a number of businesses taken over by Estia. Estia has grown rapidly by taking over other operators including Kennedy Health Care (2016), Hutchinson Health Care (2015) and Cook Care (2014). It now has 68 facilities and more than 7000 employees in four states. Once characterised by smaller, family-owned operators, the aged care sector is increasingly dominated by big corporate players who aim to grow even bigger. Corporate investors are attracted to the sector by predictions that Australia will need a minimum 69,000 extra places by 2022. At present, there are more than 2700 aged care facilities in Australia with nearly 170,000 beds.

A COMPETITIVE SECTOR Six companies – Regis, Japara, Estia, Opal, Bupa and Allity – control around one third of facilities and each is striving to increase profits. In Estia’s case it sought to cut Sunday rates from 75 per cent to 60 per cent. That would have cost nurses up to $41.55 for an eight-hour Sunday shift. Estia claimed it would make up for the loss by raising Saturday rates from 50 per cent to 60 per cent. But as NSWNMA General Secretary Brett Holmes pointed out: “Aged care workers do not have a choice in what days they are rostered to work, so if you’re working on a Sunday and not a Saturday, as many people do, you lose out significantly.”

“For a registered nurse working most Sundays it’s a loss of around $2000 a year and $1200 for an assistant in nursing (AiN).” After Estia members used social media to tell the company the importance of penalty rates to their living standards, the company responded and withdrew the cuts. “I can’t afford cuts to my penalty rates,” said Sarah Jones, NSWNMA branch president and delegate at Estia’s Merrylands facility in western Sydney. “Every part of my wage is allocated to things like rent, electricity and food, down to the dollar. “If penalty rates had been cut I would have to find the money from somewhere else – extra shifts or a second job.”

STICKING TOGETHER PAYS OFF She said nurses decided to set up a union branch at the start of EA negotiations. “We were fortunate to have the backing of the Association, which did a great job for us and gave us a bigger voice so we were able to reverse the cut to penalty rates and other negative changes.” Estia nurses also won an average 3.28 per cent pay increase back paid to 1 July, 2016. This will be followed by a 2.4 per cent pay increase in July 2017, 2018 and 2019. While most Estia nurses were receiving four weeks’ leave (five for shift workers) some – such as former Kennedy staff and Albury Estia nurses – had five and six weeks. In the new EA some Estia nurses will get bigger increases that include a “buy out” of one week’s annual leave. Estia Albury nurses, for example, will get total pay rises of between 25.96 per cent and 41.83 per cent during the life of the agreement. ■

‘ After Estia members used social media to tell the company the importance of penalty rates to their living standards, the company responded and withdrew the cuts.’ 12 | THE LAMP MAY 2017


‘ Every part of my wage is allocated to things like rent, electricity and food, down to the dollar. If penalty rates had been cut, I would have to find the money from somewhere else – extra shifts or a second job.’ — Sarah Jones

Hours regained


fter it took over Kennedy Health Care in 2016, Estia was hit by higher vacancy rates at the former Kennedy homes. It sought to cut costs by presenting former Kennedy nurses with proposed new contracts. By cutting hours by as little as 30 minutes each fortnight, Estia would transform 14 registered nurses at Merrylands, Figtree and Kilbride nursing homes from full-timers to part-timers. As a result, they would lose their rostered days off. After extensive discussions between Estia and the NSWNMA the employer agreed to a framework to manage cuts, return hours and monitor workloads, and to purchase additional equipment. Full time registered nurses remained full time. NSWNMA General Secretary Brett Holmes said “this was a constructive approach from an aged care provider”. However, former Kennedy AiNs are all part-timers and the union was unable to stop Estia reducing their hours. However, Estia did agree that staff who lost hours would be the first to be offered additional hours when resident numbers increased. Brett Holmes said nurses have a right to be consulted before any change to their regular roster. “If the roster is going to change, the employer must genuinely consult with employees before that change is implemented. Affected employees must be given sufficient time to consider the proposed changes and raise any concerns,” he said.

MINIMAL CONSULTATION WITH STAFF Sarah Jones, NSWNMA branch president and delegate at Estia’s Merrylands, said initially there was minimal consultation with staff, “We were just told that Estia was in financial difficulties with so many empty beds. “My own hours were not cut but others have had to make up for lost income by switching to shifts that pay penalty rates. This has forced some to put their kids into childcare, which means more expense. “Some of them are the only breadwinners in the family so it’s pretty hard for them.” Sarah said the cut to hours will need to be monitored to guard against increased workloads. “Some nurses have to do seven or eight showers within four hours, as well as residents’ morning teas and lunches, putting away personals and cleaning up. “How can one person do all that in four hours? It means they have to cut corners and can’t spend time with the residents, as they should.” ■

‘ After extensive discussions between Estia and the NSWNMA the employer agreed to a framework to manage cuts, return hours and monitor workloads, and to purchase additional equipment. THE LAMP MAY 2017 | 13


Dubbo nurses stand together despite fears The NSWNMA branch at Dubbo Base Hospital is stepping up its campaign to stop nurse-to-patient ratios being undermined by unfilled vacancies and an over-reliance on junior nurses.


t a ‘lunch on the lawn’ event opposite the hospital, speakers highlighted the risks resulting from junior nurses being placed in unsupported situations where they are required to make decisions beyond their level of experience. Three television channels and the local newspaper covered the meeting. NSWNMA General Secretary Brett Holmes told the media that nurses were under a “very high level of pressure” to keep quiet about their concerns and many did not attend the gathering for fear they “may be targeted”. “Members have been raising the fact that on many shifts there are relatively inexperienced nurses who are expected to carry a load beyond their level of experience,” Brett said. “Unfortunately, I’m being told that management is simply denying that circumstance and they are trying to suppress the view of our members.”

NEED TO OVERCOME INTIMIDATION Branch vice president Hannah Mines told The Lamp nurses are “worried that management won’t take what we are saying seriously until there is an incident.” “The fact that the General Secretary of the union

DUBBO: ‘lunch on the lawn’ 14 | THE LAMP MAY 2017

‘(We are) worried that management won’t take what we are saying seriously until there is an incident.’ — Hannah Mines, Branch vice president came to Dubbo to stand with us shows how serious the situation is. It was great to have his support,” she said. Western NSW Local Health District’s Director of Nursing and Midwifery, Adrian Fahy, has agreed to attend this month’s branch meeting (May) to hear nurses’ concerns. “We have to work to overcome people’s fear of intimidation and attend this meeting because it may be the only chance for members to speak directly to the district DON,” Hannah said. An open letter to the LHD executive signed by 285 nurses, ambulance crew and other health workers called on the executive to urgently intervene to provide additional education resources. ■


Gunnedah fights for better ratios Shoppers at Gunnedah’s produce markets got an insight into conditions at the local hospital when they stopped at a colourful stall set up by NSWNMA members last month.


earing union T-shirts and displaying banners that read “Ratios – put patient safety first”, nurses asked market goers to sign pledges of support for the improvement of nurse-to-patient ratios at Gunnedah District Hospital. “People were interested in what we had to say and were happy to sign the pledges and show support,” said registered nurse Heather Franke, acting secretary of the hospital’s NSWNMA branch. In conjunction with the union’s statewide ratios campaign, Gunnedah nurses are battling to have their Category C hospital correctly classified in order to qualify for ratios that should apply. Some locals who stopped at the union stall already knew about the campaign thanks to earlier publicity generated by branch members. Many Gunnedah shopkeepers had posted pledge notices in their windows after they were approached by Heather and branch president Jennifer Crough. “A lot of the community are not aware that we do not have nurse-to-patient ratios. Store owners were all very happy to support us and put the notice in their windows,” Jennifer said.

‘People were interested in what we had to say and were happy to sign the pledges and show support.’ — Heather Franke, acting secretary, NSWNMA branch.

COUNTRY PATIENTS DESERVE THE SAME RIGHTS AS THE CITY The pair also did a video interview with the “My Gunnedah” Facebook page focusing on two main demands: equal ratios for country and city hospitals and ratios to be safeguarded by legislation as in Victoria and Queensland. “For interview talking points we used a media release from Brett Holmes (NSWNMA General Secretary),” Heather said. “Currently if we have only three staff members on the general ward, one of those nurses could have eight or nine patients. This is not safe practice. “Evidence has shown that having nurse-to-patient ratios saves lives and makes good economic sense. “Big Category A hospitals have 1:4 ratios and we think our patients deserve the same care as they would get in a Sydney hospital.” In the next stage of their campaign the NSWNMA branch is planning a community walk along the town’s main street and will invite nurses from surrounding towns in the state’s northwest to join them. ■

Things you can do Gunnedah nurses Caterina Da Ruos (L), Jennifer Crough (2nd from left) and Heather Franke (R) with two members of the Country Women’s Association Coralie Hoe and Kath Scott, who signed the pledge for nurse-to-patient ratios.

Like our Ratios put patient safety first Facebook page: Sign up to get regular information about our ratios campaign:

For more information THE LAMP MAY 2017 | 15


ACTU: a higher minimum wage benefits all Australia’s minimum wage has fallen to a dangerously low level at the expense of all workers, not just the low paid, says the ACTU.


he ACTU is to push for a $45-a-week increase in the minimum wage as the latest national economic data shows that workers are missing out on the benefits of a resurgent economy. GDP figures are the strongest they have been for seven years while wages and salaries have actually fallen by 0.5 per cent. New ACTU Secretary Sally McManus says improving the minimum wage will be an important part of the ACTU’s agenda in “the fight to bring fairness back to Australia”. “Our minimum wage once led the world. Now it does not, it has been slipping rapidly down the rankings. It has barely moved in real terms while bills have soared,” she said at the National Press Club. “It has lost touch with the average wage. It’s $17.70 an hour or just less than $35,000 a year for a full time worker. Imagine what it is like trying to live on $35,000. “In 1985, the minimum wage was nearly two-thirds of the average wage. Today it is well under half. This is dangerous for two reasons. “It creates a class of the working poor as exists in the US, and a low minimum wage provides a big incentive for employers to destroy good, 16 | THE LAMP MAY 2017

‘ The Turnbull government’s submission amounts to arguing that middle-aged women going and cleaning toilets in hotels… are going home to a rich sugar daddy.’ — Neil Mitchell 3AW broadcaster steady, fairly paid jobs by outsourcing them, cancelling agreements and using labour hire. “A low minimum wage affects every Australian. It affects all our jobs. And it affects our economy: it affects our tax revenue.” Ms McManus says the fall in the minimum wage “to a dangerously low level” was indicative of how the balance of power in Australia has changed with a resulting widening in inequality. “Inequality in our country is the worst it has been for 70 years and 679 of our biggest corporations pay not one cent of tax. Wage theft is a new business model for too many employers,” she said. “We cannot accept one rule for the rich, another for the rest of us.” Ms McManus said it was the Australian union movement who won the first living wage in the world and it would defend that legacy.

“We will submit a claim to lift the minimum wage by $45 a week. This will bring the minimum wage to $37,420 a year. Much closer to what the OECD says is needed to avoid low paid work at 60% of the average wage.”

PUBLIC SUPPORTS A HIGHER MINIMUM WAGE The ACTU’s push for a much-improved minimum wage is supported by public opinion according to a poll commissioned by the United Voice union late last year. The survey found 65 per cent of the public agreed with the statement “Australian society has become more unequal over the past few years”. 78 per cent agreed that “inequality affects us all because it creates social and economic division”. The survey showed strong support (63 per cent) for a significant increase in the minimum wage.


‘ A low minimum wage affects every Australian. It affects all our jobs. And it affects our economy.’ — Sally McManus, ACTU Secretary

This support is not shared by the federal government or employers. The Australian Industry Group is arguing that any increase be limited to 1.5 per cent or $10.10 per week. In its minimum wage submission to the Fair Work Commission, the Turnbull government argued that increases in the minimum wage did not address the needs of the low paid. It also questioned the very notion of a low-income earner. “Low-paid employees are often found in high-income households,” it said. This claim was repeated by Malcolm Turnbull in parliament. His employment minister Michaela Cash had great difficulty substantiating this extraordinary claim when interviewed by broadcaster Neil Mitchell on Melbourne radio. Mitchell asked Cash how many of the 200,000 workers on the minimum wage lived in high-income households. She failed to answer after Mitchell asked the question 10 times. When he asked what percentage of the 200,000 were in high income households Cash said, “It’s not so much what percentage”, to which Mitchell replied, “Of course it is”. Mitchell then said the Turnbull government’s minimum wage submission to Fair Work Australia amounts to arguing that “middle-aged women going and cleaning toilets in hotels… are going home to a rich sugar daddy”. ■

$45 a week

The increase to the minimum wage sought by the ACTU

$10.10 a week

What employers’ say low-paid workers should settle for

60% of average wages

The OECD benchmark for an effective minimum wage

53% of average wages The current minimum wage

READ SALLY MCMANUS’ PRESS CLUB SPEECH Sally McManus outlines her vision for the Australian trade union movement in her inaugural address to the National Press Club.

THE LAMP MAY 2017 | 17


The therapeutic benefits of marijuana There is now ample scientific evidence supporting the medical effectiveness of cannabis, but outdated community attitudes and the law remain obstacles to its use.


he federal parliament passed laws last year legalising medicinal cannabis use in Australia for patients with painful and chronic illnesses, but only a “handful” of patients are currently benefiting says Lucy Haslam, a retired nurse and a leading campaigner for medicinal cannabis law reform. “The process of obtaining the medicine is so complex,” Lucy says. Those patients who have been able to legally access medicinal cannabis have often waited for up to a year and a half and spent thousands of dollars in doctors’ fees and importation fees. “That leaves hundreds of thousands of people accessing cannabis on the black market. Most people who are genuine medical users don’t want to be sourcing medication on the black market; they would rather be sourcing products from safe manufacturing processes.” Lucy became an outspoken advocate for medicinal marijuana after her son Dan was diagnosed with bowel cancer at the age of 22 and began chemotherapy treatment. “Dan had really bad nausea and vomiting and he developed anticipatory nausea – just the thought of chemotherapy would make him feel sick. Literally from the first minute after having cannabis the colour came back to his face, he said he felt hungry and he ate something, and he never vomited again from chemo.” 18 | THE LAMP MAY 2017

‘ Most people who are genuine medical users don’t want to be sourcing medication on the black market; they would rather be sourcing products from safe manufacturing processes.’ — Lucy Haslam The experience led Lucy to make a dramatic about turn in her views on cannabis. She lobbied federal and state politicians, and she and her husband Lou Haslam, a retired detective who had served on the drug squad, established United in Compassion: an advocacy body for patients whose suffering could be alleviated by access to “safe, effective and affordable” medicinal cannabis products.

MEDICAL EFFECTIVENESS NOW WELL PROVEN In January this year, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine released a comprehensive review of the research and literature conducted since 1999 on the health effects of cannabis and cannabinoids. Their report found significant support for their use in various medical conditions. The study found conclusive or

substantial evidence that cannabis or cannabinoids are effective for chronic pain in adults; as antiemetics in the treatment of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting; and for improving multiple sclerosis spasticity symptoms. Researchers found moderate evidence that cannabis or cannabinoids are effective for alleviating sleep disturbance associated with obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome, as well as for fibromyalgia and multiple sclerosis. They found some limited evidence that cannabis or cannabinoids are effective for increasing appetite and decreasing weight loss associated with HIV/AIDS, and for treating various other conditions, such as Tourette syndrome, social anxiety disorders and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. Pharmacognosist Justin Sinclair


‘ We now have pretty good evidence for the use of cannabinoids in the treatment of pain, particularly neuropathic pain, which is very difficult to treat.’ — Justin Sinclair

– an expert in the chemical components and use of medicinal plants – says we are only just beginning to understand the way substances derived from cannabis plants act on the body. “We didn’t know how cannabis worked within the body until 1988, when the cannabinoid receptor was discovered, suggesting that there is this whole regulatory or modulatory system we didn’t know anything about.” The body produced its own naturally occurring forms of cannabinoids, Justin says. In 1992, the Israeli scientist Raphael Mechoulam discovered an endocannabinoid that occurs naturally in the body. He called it anandamide (taken from the Sanskrit word for ‘bliss’) and his team soon found another endocannabinoid called 2-AG. “The discovery of the endocannabinoid system is one of the most significant scientific and medical discoveries in the last 100 years,” says Justin, Chief Scientist for United in Compassion’s Advisory Body. “It changes how we understand our entire human body.” Although research into cannabis use is still in its early days, Justin believes the plant has many potential applications yet to be discovered. “We now have pretty good evidence for the use of cannabinoids in the treatment of pain, particularly

neuropathic pain, which is very difficult to treat.” He recognises many nurses and doctors will be resistant to the use of cannabis-related products, particularly when their perceptions are shaped by widely-held beliefs that cannabis is illicit and dangerous. But he believes health professionals will “start to feel more comfortable” with cannabis-related products with more education. “It has a safer toxicity profile, and often fewer side effects, than many prescription drugs.”

LAWS OUT OF STEP WITH THE SCIENCE While Justin says educating health professionals is “key”, the other part of the equation is liberalising the laws that are still difficult to access, time-consuming and expensive. “The pathways the government has put in place to access medicinal cannabis are quite difficult,” says Lucy Haslam, who has continued to lobby for law reform since her son Dan passed away. You either need to be part of a clinical trial, “which are few and far between”, or you need to find an authorised prescriber. “They usually have to be a specialist, someone like a paediatric neurologist or oncologist, and there are currently only about 23 in the country.”

Adding to the difficulty, authorised prescribers are not legally allowed to advertise, and the government won’t keep a register, Lucy says, “It’s easier to get methadone prescriptions from a doctor.” In NSW, if a patient can find a doctor willing to prescribe, then the doctor still has to find a product around the world, and then apply to the TGA to import the product from a nation that legally manufactures the cannabis product (which excludes the United States). “It’s a very difficult process, and the doctor has to show evidence that the patient has tried conventional products.” In February this year, Health Minister Greg Hunt responded to these concerns by announcing that Australian companies will now be able to distribute and warehouse cannabis oils and medications locally. ■

MORE INFORMATION NSWNMA is seeking expressions of interest from members to form a nurses’ cannabis interest group. Contact rmartin@ United in Compassion will hold a symposium on medical cannabis on the 23-25 June in Melbourne. THE LAMP MAY 2017 | 19

Gather. Share. Give.

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20 | THE LAMP MAY 2017


Medicinal cannabis “helpful” in managing epilepsy Without more investment in medical marijuana research, cannabis and cannabinoid products are likely to remain hugely expensive.


isa Todd, a Clinical Nurse Consultant with Epilepsy Action Australia, works with families who have found cannabis has dramatically helped to reduce the number of epileptic seizures their child suffers, with seizures ceasing altogether in some cases. While EA A doesn’t advise people considering using cannabis-based products either way, the organisation aims to “help people make informed decisions about using cannabinoid based products as therapeutic agents,” Lisa says. “We support clients in an advocacy role who are utilising unregulated products and those wishing to access it legally.” A recent survey of 983 epileptics and families of epileptic children conducted by Epilepsy Action Australia found that 14% of people were using cannabis-based products for medicinal purposes. And 86% of those people reported that medicinal cannabis was helpful in managing their seizure activity. While the science explaining how cannabis helps to manage epilepsy and other medical conditions is still in its early stages (see pp. 18–19), the EAA is calling for the decriminalisation of medicinal cannabis use until the legal avenues for access to medicinal cannabis products become more widely available. “We are calling for amnesty in this transition period whilst the law,

‘ We are calling for amnesty in this transition period whilst the law, science and product availability and affordability catch up to community expectations.’ — Lisa Todd science and product availability and affordability catch up to community expectations,” Lisa says.

SAFE, AFFORDABLE PRODUCTS NEEDED Lisa, who has studied the use of medical cannabis in the US, is concerned that unregulated distribution and use of cannabis for medical purposes means that people are losing the opportunity to access safe products under medical supervision. Hemp plants are known to absorb heavy metals, including mercury, Lisa notes. And despite the anecdotal and early scientific research into the cannabis for medical use, anyone consuming the drug should be aware of the interactions it might have with other drugs, as well as information on safe dosage and side effects. In a new trial in NSW, 40 children have begun receiving doses of pharmaceutical-grade, cannabis-derived medicine to treat severe, drug-resistant epilepsy under the NSW Government’s Compassionate

Access Scheme for Epidiolex®. But with epilepsy affecting a quarter of a million Australians, including many children, Todd would like to see a significant increase in medicinal cannabis research, so that safe, affordable and accessible products are available to all who need them.

WATCH THE SBS DOCUMENTARY – THE TRUTH ABOUT MEDICAL MARIJUANA SBS broadcast an in-depth program on the issues around medical cannabis including an interview with Lucy Haslam which is available on SBS On Demand. http://www. video/915900995661/ the-truth-about-medicalmarijuana THE LAMP MAY 2017 | 21


After the deluge, solidarity The floods in Northern NSW brought out a strong community spirit.

N ‘ One Lismore nurse lost the entire contents of her house. She made a list of what she needed at home and everyone donated items to help her out.’ — Shaen Springall, Lismore branch president

Fees waiver for affected members If you have been affected by the recent floods, the NSWNMA would like to offer you support by providing some respite from your membership fees, in the form of a waiver. To access assistance, contact the Association via email at gensec@ or call our Membership Team directly during office hours on (02) 8595 1234. The NSWNA has also donated $10,000 towards flood relief.

22 | THE LAMP MAY 2017

urses at Lismore Base Hospital were left stranded by flooding that devastated the northern NSW city in late March. Some were unable to get to the hospital to start work, while others could not return home following their shifts. Lismore’s central business district was inundated when the Wilsons River overtopped the levee in the wake of cyclone Debbie. The hospital is situated on high ground three blocks from the CBD and remained dry. However, all on-duty nurses worked overtime to plug the gaps left by colleagues unable to reach the hospital due to flooded roads and landslips. “I did a double shift the first night and a 12-hour shift the next day,” said NSWNMA branch secretary Gil Wilson. “I live out of town and the flood cut the Bruxner Highway so I couldn’t have made it home anyway. “On-duty nurses were given the option to leave work to try to rescue their pets and possessions, but those who were stranded were accommodated in hospital housing. “A nurse lost her car and part of her house. Another got home to find water lapping at floorboards of her house which is built on stilts. One guy paddled to work at the hospital on a flotation device and got told off by the SES for his troubles.” NSWNM A branch president Shaen Springall said some nurses unable to get to Lismore hospital volunteered for duty at hospitals in nearby towns such as Casino, Kyogle and Ballina. “One Lismore nurse lost the entire contents of her house. She made a list of what she needed at home and

everyone donated items to help her out,” he said.

NURSES STEP UP FOR FLOODED COMMUNITIES The hospital’s NSWNMA and Health Services Union branches held an afternoon tea fundraiser at work to collect money for the city council flood appeal. Many nurses volunteered to clean up the town after floodwaters receded. Shaen used his days off and FACS leave to help clean up his local pub, the New Tattersalls Hotel. “The pub was hit by over two metres of water that reached the tops of the doors. I spent five days washing walls and scrubbing floors to help them reopen,” he said. “There were heaps of volunteers. A couple of women set up Lismore Helping Hands to coordinate volunteers and donations through a Facebook page. “They set up shop in the old railway station and coordinated people who cooked and delivered food and clean water to the worst-affected households.” Around 30 teams of about five volunteers were dispatched around the city daily to deliver essential goods and clean up. Shaen said the height of the flood caught locals by surprise. “The water went at least 1.2 metres above the predicted height so businesses that thought they had put their stock out of reach suffered massive losses. “It was such a widespread downpour that everyone got caught out. We were forecast to get 400ml of rain on one day and instead we got 800ml.” ■


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Bigger & Better The ANMF’s Continuing Professional Education (CPE) website has provided quality, affordable online education for nurses and midwives for over 9 years.

The CPE website has had a makeover and now provides you with more educational tools to assist you to meet your CPD requirements and we are very excited to announce our new and refreshed website is now live. Immediately you will notice streamlined menus, simple navigation and access to the courses and information you need, any time of day. There is a whole host of other impactful changes such as videos, webinars, journals and resources, all to make your experience on the ANMF CPE better for you. Have a quick look at the user guide on the website to help you to navigate the new system.

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7/03/2017 8:31| AM THE LAMP MAY 2017 23


Health concerns over WestConnex Sydney’s WestConnex road and tunnel project is riddled with health issues, argue activists.


he $18.6 billion, 33 kilometre road and tunnel project will lead to greater traffic volume and increase harmful pollution in areas where schools, housing and businesses are concentrated, say critics. Dr Sujata Allan, a Sydney-based GP registrar and a member of Doctors for the Environment Australia, says that although Australia has national standards to regulate maximum levels of air pollution, “there is no safe limit for particle pollution”. “The current regulations aren’t protecting public health,” says Dr Allan, “In any case, particle pollution along many areas on the WestConnex route is already close to current standards.” According to Dr Allan, the current level of air pollution in Sydney

24 | THE LAMP MAY 2017

‘ The 55-plus emission stacks throughout the inner west will all be unfiltered and the majority are very close to schools, pre-schools, playgrounds and homes.’ is roughly equivalent to smoking one cigarette a day, and in Sydney air pollutants such as ozone and fine particles at times exceed the national standards, and are predicted to increase by 2036. She said particulate matter is linked to asthma, lung disease, cancer and stroke and higher rates of doctor visits, along with many other health issues. “It is the pollution that you can’t see that is the most dangerous. It’s the smaller particle pollution produced by traffic that can get

into the lungs and bloodstream, causing increased heart and lung diseases. Particle pollution alone causes fifteen hundred deaths each year in Australia.” The WestConnex project will widen the M4 between Parramatta and Homebush and connect to the M5 and Port Botany via a series of tunnels and road widenings. Major sections are already in construction, with land clearing, bulk earthworks and tunnel boring taking place along the M4 motorway from Haberfield


‘ We need to think about how we protect and nourish the health of Sydneysiders and we don’t do that through the creation of such a massive, polluting roadway.’ — Judith Kiejda, NSWNMA Assisant General Secrectary

to Silverwater, and similar work underway to the south-west around St Peters in preparation for a new M5 tunnel.

MORE INNER CITY AIR POLLUTION Jennifer Aaron, a retired nurse and activist opposed to WestConnex, said the community can’t be confident that state government had put in place measures to deal with the pollution that will result from the development. “The 55-plus emission stacks throughout the inner west will all be unfiltered and the majority are very close to schools, pre-schools, playgrounds and homes. The SMC has stated that it is too expensive to filter the stacks and that they will be high enough to carry the unfiltered air up.”

State member for Newtown, Jenny Leong, has also raised concerns about WestConnex. “WestConnex will put unfiltered ventilation stacks less than 500 metres from public schools, childcare centres and nursing homes,” Leong said. “Vehicle exhaust emissions will worsen inner city air pollution, releasing airborne particles known to cause premature mortality and have serious health impacts.” Jenny Leong is also concerned about health and safety breaches during the project’s construction. “There have been issues at Kingsgrove and Haberfield, as well as major concerns around the former Alexandria Landfill site, in terms of remediation, asbestos and

the lack of proper safety measures.” NSWNMA Assistant General Secretary Judith Kiejda says there is overwhelming evidence that WestConnex will cause serious health problems. “We know that a road project like this will encourage even more cars on to our roads. This is the exact opposite of what needs to happen. “We need solutions that take cars off the road and that encourage and support Sydneysiders to walk, cycle and to use public transport. “We need to think about how we protect and nourish the health of Sydneysiders and we don’t do that through the creation of such a massive, polluting roadway.” ■

THE LAMP MAY 2017 | 25

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9am to 5pm

Registration opens at 7.30am COST members $100 non-members $150 students $20 (limited places) 26 | THE LAMP MAY 2017


KEYNOTE SPEAKER Organising for social change in health Hahrie Han

GUEST SPEAKERS The impact of colonisation on health outcomes for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander People Janine Mohamed & Melissa Sweet

Local, regional and international advocacy to advance women´s rights Kate Lappin

How migration & multiculturalism have helped make Australia great George Megalogenis

Chief Nursing & Midwifery Officer address Jacqui Cross

Register Online


Transfer details start to trickle down After years of waiting, nurses are finally getting some facts on the privatised Northern Beaches Hospital.


ell-attended union meetings and a staff petition appear to have prompted health authorities to finally start disclosing vital information for nurses transferring to Sydney’s new privatised Northern Beaches Hospital. Nurses will be expected to move from Manly and Mona Vale public hospitals to the Healthscope– operated Northern Beaches Hospital when it opens in November 2018.

‘ Nurses would like some answers so we can work out whether it will be worth our while to transfer or not.’ — Robyne Brown Staff have been seeking answers to basic questions – such as what positions will be offered, how will positions be filled, and what transition arrangements will apply – since the government announced

‘ It is clear that the union meetings, along with the petition, have already had an effect on the LHD and ministry.’ — Brett Holmes the hospital would be built and run by a private operator four years ago. In late 2016, the NSWNMA went to the Industrial Relations Commission to try to get some answers. Commissioner Peter Newall said employees should not have to decide their employment futures without knowing basic information and recommended a Ministry of Health senior representative attend the next meeting between unions, Northern Sydney Local Health District and Healthscope. Last month the NSWNM A and other health unions called meetings of members at Mona Vale and Manly hospitals. Each hospital held two meetings at noon and 1.30pm to cater for staff after the morning shift and before the afternoon shift. The meetings endorsed a petition calling for staff to be given the information they need at least 12 months before the hospital opens. Mona Vale hospital branch secretary Robyne Brown said staff were frustrated that consultative meetings held with the LHD every two months had produced almost no

hard information in writing. “Every time we asked a question the LHD would it take on notice and refer it to the Health Ministry. “Nurses would like some answers so we can work out whether it will be worth our while to transfer or not.” She sa id t hat fol low i ng Commissioner Newall’s recommendation, a Health Ministry representative did at tend a consultative meeting but arrived an hour and a half late.

PRESSURE LEADS TO MORE INFO However last month’s union meetings and petition appear to have had some effect. The LHD has since emailed nurses to advise they will receive a transfer payment of one week’s pay for each year of service up to a maximum of eight weeks if permanently employed for six years or more. A nd t he ministry has given unions some information about employment entitlements and conditions. Robyne said that in a further sign of progress, an LHD manager had been assigned to work at the ministry to obtain answers for staff. NSWNMA General Secretary Brett Holmes said the NSWNMA was reviewing the information provided “but it is evident that concerns will remain”. “It is clear that the union meetings, along with the petition, have already had an effect on the LHD and ministry. However, more needs to be identified and made known,” he said. “For example, it was still unclear whether government regulations would allow redundancy payments to be offered to staff.” ■ THE LAMP MAY 2017 | 27


what’s ON Quality Surveyor and Senior Quality Surveyor APS 5 and 6 broadband Ongoing/non-ongoing Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth The Australian Aged Care Quality Agency (Quality Agency) is responsible for holding aged care providers accountable against the Accreditation standards for residential aged care, the Home Care Standards for home care services, Quality Review of National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Care Services (NATSI Flex) and also supporting service provider performance through education, training and compliance assistance. The Quality Agency is offering full-time ongoing and non-ongoing opportunities in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth, to become a Quality Surveyor/Senior Quality Surveyor. The non-ongoing positions are for a minimum 12 month period. Successful candidates will be provided with a training program that is internationally accredited by the International Society for Quality in Healthcare, (ISQua) leading to registration as a Quality Assessor. The following are the key responsibilities of a Quality Surveyor: • Assess the quality of care and services provided through aged care services against the applicable standards • Interview care recipients and their representatives about the quality of care and services provided through an aged care service. • Collect, synthesise, and analyse evidence to make findings; • Prepare and write accurate reports to inform statutory decisions; • Work effectively as a team member to accomplish organisational goals; • Manage internal and external stakeholder relationships effectively; • Represent the Quality Agency with credibility and professionalism; • Provide information and training to aged care services to improve performance against the standards, promote high quality care and continuous improvement. Eligibility: The Quality Agency is seeking people with backgrounds and experience in the following roles: • Systems auditors • Human service managers, e.g. disability services, indigenous services, services delivered to culturally and linguistically diverse consumers • Quality Improvement managers • Health professionals • Professional standards or human services investigators • Complaints managers • Aged Care sector experience, home care, community care and residential care • Adult educators To succeed, applicants will have strong inter-personal and communication skills, an ability to understand, analyse complex situations, and sound IT skills to write reports using mobile device technology. A driver’s licence is mandatory. These roles involve regular travel away from home within each state to aged care services in rural and regional centre’s with consecutive weeknight stays each fortnight. These roles are broadband classified APS5/6 and as such the range of salary will commence at $70,220.00 up to a maximum of $92,265.00. The salary offered will be subject to experience of the successful candidate/s and upon registration as a Quality Surveyor. In addition, 15.4% superannuation will be paid. The diversity of our staff is very important to us. We welcome and actively encourage applications from people with disability, women, and people with culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. We recognise the richness of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and the unique knowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees bring to our workplace, policy development and service delivery. We welcome and actively encourage applications from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Only candidates who hold Australian citizenship can apply. Refer to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection website for further information. Appointment is conditional on successfully completing a national police check. How to apply? Please refer to the Positions Vacant page on our website to download and read the Quality Surveyor Recruitment pack. Please complete an online application form and submit your resume to https://agedcareassessor. by 5:00pm (local time) This is an open recruitment drive till August 2017. Ensure you outline your relevant work-related experience, and provide examples to show how they align with the required selection criteria • Please make a statement of claim as to how your capabilities, background and experience will contribute to your success in the Quality Surveyor role. • In this role, you are required to have strong inter-personal and communication skills. Please describe a situation where you have demonstrated strong inter-personal and communication skills. • Provide an example that demonstrates your ability to understand and analyse complex situations. Only completed applications will be accepted i.e. a completed application form, a current resume and you have addressed the above selection criteria. This advertisement is advertising positions that are both ongoing and non-ongoing, applicants should clearly state in their application which option they are seeking. For enquiries, please contact Iana Jerdetski – Human Resource Officer on (02) 8831 1071 Further information: For further information about the Quality Agency, office locations and other related resources, please visit For more information on the Australian Public Service, please visit and 28 | THE LAMP MAY 2017

FINANCIAL WELLNESS SEMINAR This free half day seminar is designed to assist people in their decision making regarding their financial future. Subjects covered on the day are detailed below and cater for all ages.


• Superannuation Guarantee • Government CoContributions Scheme • Contribution Limits • Salary Sacrifice • Consolidation of Multiple Accounts (Rolling Over) • Insurance (Income Protection / Death Cover / Total and Permanent Disability / Binding Nominations / Nominated Beneficiary) • Investments (Asset Classes / Volatility etc) • Transition to Retirement • Help Links (e.g. MyGov Website / Money Smart Website) • ASFA Retirement Standard (the difference between a modest and comfortable retirement) • Centrelink (General Information e.g. income asset tests) • Q&A •







Wednesday 24 May NSWNMA Tuesday 13 June The Westport Club Thursday 15 June Parramatta RSL

Tuesday 29 August Dubbo RSL Thursday 21 September The Shellharbour Club Wednesday 1 November Ballina RSL


Tuesday 1 August Noah’s on the Beach Time: 9am to 2pm Lunch & refreshments provided Nurses and midwives: this seminar will not attract CPD hours. Numbers are limited in some locations. Pre-registration is essential.

Register online NSWNMAeducation For enquiries contact NSWNMA Metro: 8595 1234 Rural: 1300 367 962


Push to end gas tax ‘rort’ Multinational gas producers are paying minimal tax while our hospitals are starved of funds.


ast year Australia’s national nursing union ran a series of TV and radio ads across the country highlighting how $57 billion ripped from health budgets was compromising the care nurses are able to deliver to the community. The ads by the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation also alerted the public to the $1.2 billion in funding slashed from the aged care system. Australia’s public hospitals remain in “a constant state of emergency” due to funding shortfalls, according to the Australian Medical Association (AMA). Yet while hospitals go begging the Australian government continues to allow major corporations to avoid paying billions of dollars in tax every year. The offshore gas industry is a prime example. Australia may soon overtake Qatar to become the world’s biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG). Yet multinational companies pay Australia very little for the gas they extract from Australian waters. A report by the McKell Institute reveals that under the Petroleum Resources Rent Tax (PRRT), offshore gas producers pay minimal tax on the profits they make. They pay nothing at all for the gas under the sea because unlike most of the resources industry they are largely exempt from paying royalties. By extending the royalty system to all projects in Commonwealth waters the government could generate up to $28.4 billion over 10 years, the McKell report finds.

‘ Australians are missing out on billions of dollars in royalties’ — Senator Jacqui Lambie

That is more than double the $13.8 billion the federal government is spending on health this year.

GAS PRODUCTION BOOMS BUT GOVERNMENT RENTS DROP While gas production has boomed in recent years, PRRT receipts have actually decreased and will continue to decline, the report says. In 2014-15, the federal government received $1.8 billion in PRRT revenue, and this is predicted to fall as low as $0.81 billion by 2020. At the same time, gas and oil companies in Australia are making significant profits, with the industry turning over $67 billion in 2014-15. Major petroleum companies “poorly compensate the Australian public for the publicly owned resources they are extracting and selling for profit,” the report says. With LNG worth hundreds of billions of dollars set to be exported in the coming decades, there is a push in the Senate to reform the system. “The whole thing has become a complete rort,” said Labor Senator Sam Dastyari. “Australians are missing out on billions of dollars in royalties when Australia is experiencing a gas boom,” said independent Senator Jacqui Lambie. Victorian Senator Derryn Hinch said Qatar was expected to raise about $26 billion in revenue from royalties by 2021. “Compare that to Australia. The forecast is that we’ll raise less than $1 billion under the current system.” ■

READ THE MCKELL INSTITUTE REPORT Harnessing the Boom – how Australia can better capture the benefits of the natural gas boom. https://mckellinstitute. harnessing-the-boom/

THE LAMP MAY 2017 | 29

START YOUR NEXT SHIFT WITH A SPRING IN YOUR STEP! UNSIGHTLY VEINS? TIRED, THROBBING, ACHING LEGS? Nursing is one of the most common professions to suffer from varicose veins – and when you work as hard as you do, the last thing you need to worry about is tired, aching legs.

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STEP INTO OUR CLINIC The Vein Institute is a leading Australian medical clinic specialising in the non-surgical treatment of varicose veins.

SPECIAL OFFER for NSWNMA members: All members will receive 25% off the fee for the first consultation with The Vein Institute. The first consultation includes a ultrasound scan of your legs.* For more information or advice on our treatments visit or call 1300 701 221. CLINIC LOCATIONS 9/135 Macquarie Street Sydney NSW 2000 56 Burwood Rd Burwood NSW 2134

*Offer valid until 30th December 2017. Only valid for current NSWNMA members.

30 | THE LAMP MAY 2017

New South Wales Nurses and Midwives’ Association Summary of Financial Information for the Year Ended 31 December 2016


he financial statements of the New South Wales Nurses and Midwives’ Association have been audited in accordance with the provisions of the Industrial Relations Act 1991, and the following summary is provided for members in accordance with Section 517(2) of the Act, as applied by section 282(3) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1996. A copy of the Financial Statements, including the independent Audit Report, will be supplied free of charge to members upon request. Certificates required to be given under the Act by the Accounting Officer and the Committee of Management have been completed in accordance with the provisions of the Act and contain no qualifications.


SUMMARY STATEMENT OF PROFIT OR LOSS OR OTHER COMPREHENSIVE INCOME FOR 2016 ($) THE YEAR ENDED 31 DECEMBER 2016 Membership revenue 34,004,364 NursePower fund subscriptions 3,778,262 Reversal of Impairment Provision – Land & Buildings 2,083,769 Other income 1,831,210 Total income 41,697,605 Less total expenditure (37,583,222) Result for the year 4,114,383 Net fair value movements for available-for-sale 115,878 financial assets Remeasurement of retirement benefit obligations 249,884 Total comprehensive income attributable to members 4,480,145


SUMMARY BALANCE SHEET AS AT 31 DECEMBER 2016 Total equity 41,808,948 Represented by: Current assets 22,252,998 Non-current assets 31,407,006 Total assets 53,660,004 Current liabilities 11,123,840 Non-current liabilities 727,216 Total liabilities 11,851,056 Net assets 41,808,948 INFORMATION TO BE PROVIDED TO MEMBERS OR REGISTRAR In accordance with the requirements of the Industrial Relations Act, 1991 [NSW] the attention of members is drawn to the provisions of Sub-Sections (1) and (2) of Section 512 which read as follows: (1) A member of an organisation, or the Industrial Registrar, may apply to the organisation for specified information prescribed by the regulations in relation to the organisation. (2) An organisation must, on the making of such an application, make the specified information available to the member or the Industrial Registrar in the manner, and within the time, prescribed by the regulations.

2015 ($) 32,447,655 3,605,315 1,497,561 37,550,531 (34,812,453) 2,738,078 (91,663) 948,099 3,594,514

The summary financial statements do not contain all the disclosures required by Section 510 of the Industrial Relations Act 1991 (NSW) or Australian Accounting Standards. Reading the summary financial statements and the auditor’s report thereon, therefore, is not a substitute for reading the audited financial report and the auditor’s report thereon. We expressed an unmodified audit opinion on the audited financial report in our report dated 4 April 2017. Our Independent Auditor’s Report to the members on the Financial Report did not contain any particulars of any deficiency, failure or shortcoming as referred to in the Industrial Relations Act 1991 [NSW], as applied by Section 282(3) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1996.


The Committee of Management is responsible for the preparation of the summary financial statements.

AUDITOR’S RESPONSIBILITY 37,328,803 20,470,549 29,307,691 49,778,240 10,855,844 1,593,593 12,449,437 37,328,803


The summary financial statements, which comprise the summary balance sheet as at 31 December 2016 and the summary statement of profit or loss and other comprehensive income for the year then ended are derived from the audited financial report of New South Wales Nurses and Midwives’ Association for the year ended 31 December 2016. In our opinion, the accompanying summary financial statements are a fair summary of the audited financial report.

Our responsibility is to express an opinion on whether the summary financial statements are a fair summary of the audited financial report based on our procedures, which were conducted in accordance with Auditing Standard ASA 810 Engagements to Report on Summary Financial Statements.

Daley & Co

Chartered Accountants

Stephen Milgate


4 April 2017, Wollongong Liability limited by a Scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation

A copy of the Financial Report, including the Independent Audit Report, may be found on the Members page of the website or can be obtained upon written application to: Brett Holmes, General Secretary, New South Wales Nurses and Midwives’ Association, 50 O’Dea Avenue, Waterloo 2017. THE LAMP MAY 2017 | 31





70 per cent of Australians support not-for-profit super

TrusT BequesTs


Most Australians don’t trust the big banks when it comes to superannuation and over two-thirds want the system to run on a not-for-profit basis with all returns to members according to a recent poll. he Edith Cavell Trust is now able to receive nontax deductable donations/ bequests.

The Trust – named in honour of edith Cavell – assists in the advancement of NsW nurses and midwives through further studies and research, made available through scholarship. The knowledge and expertise gained by nurses and midwives, supported by the edith Cavell scholarships, is an asset to the care of their patients and clients. Bequests to the Trust would continue to support this important work. edith, a British nurse serving in Belgium in WWI, is a hero to most nurses and midwives. she helped some 200 Allied soldiers escape from German-occupied Belgium. Her actions saw her arrested, accused of treason, found guilty by a court-martial, and sentenced to death. Despite international pressure for mercy, she was shot by a German firing squad.

The Essential poll of 1000 people, commissioned by Industry Super Australia (ISA), found that only 31 per cent trust that banks will ensure the superannuation system works in the best interest of retirees. In contrast 69 per cent trusted industry super funds. 70 per cent believed all super funds should be not-forprofit with all returns to members rather than split with shareholders. Only 6 per cent disagreed. “Australians have told us what they think – they don’t trust the banks and believe their culture and profit motive are at odds with the purpose of super,” said ISA chief executive David Whiteley. The poll backs up this sentiment: 58% of respondents believed the banks would use the compulsory nature of super to exploit fund members. Two-thirds of Australians agreed that the banks are already too powerful and giving them more of the superannuation market would make the situation worse. Instead, 57% want a small number of high- quality super funds run by trusted providers rather than a large menu of bank offerings. The poll came on the eve of a powerful advertising campaign by industry super funds to “keep the bank foxes out of the super henhouse”.


The ad shows the hand of a federal politician opening a hen house to waiting foxes. The tagline is “Banks aren’t super”.


PHoNe emAIl BequesT/ DoNATIoN AmouNT


Preferred method of payment ElEctronic Fund transFEr account namE: New south Wales Nurses and midwives’ Association Bank: Commonwealth Bank BsB: 062-017 account no: 10017908 crEdit card I authorise the NSWNMA to debit my credit card for the amount of mastercard


CArD No NAme oN CArD sIGNATure of CArDHolDer

32 | THE LAMP MAY 2017


exPIry DATe


‘ Two thirds of Australians agreed that the banks are already too powerful and giving them more of the superannuation market would make the situation worse.’




Home ownership dream drifts away from young workers A perfect storm of stagnant wages and rising house prices is putting home ownership beyond the reach of Australia’s young workers. A survey of 9000 respondents by HSBC bank found that only 28 per cent of Australians aged 18 to 36 own the home they live in – ranking Australia second lowest on a table of nine countries. China led the way with 70 per cent home ownership. Malaysia and the USA ranked equal fourth on 35 per cent, the UK was seventh on 31 per cent and the United Arab Emirates ranked last with 26 per cent. The gap between wages and rising prices was killing off the aspiration of young workers to own their own home, the bank said.

European nurses desert NHS

“In those countries where there is a perfect storm of stagnating salaries and rising house prices, the dream, while not dead, looks set to be deferred,” HSBC’s Louisa Cheang told The Guardian.

Record numbers of European nurses are leaving the NHS following Brexit, prompting fears of a worsening staffing crisis.

Australian capital city house prices have grown by more than 10 per cent in the past 12 months, while real salaries are anticipated to increase by 1.6 per cent. Worldwide, 64 per cent of those aged 18 to 36 said they needed a higher salary before they could buy a home, and 69 per cent said they did not yet have enough for a deposit. In Australia if a young person put aside $100 a week it would take them 26 years to save up for a 20 per cent deposit on a median-priced Sydney house ($204,400 according to Real Estate Institute of Australia).

‘ In Australia if a young person put aside $100 a week it would take them 26 years to save up for a 20 per cent deposit on a medianpriced Sydney house.’

The number of EU citizens registering as nurses in England has dropped by 92 per cent since the Brexit referendum in June last year. Nurses from European Community countries are also walking away from the NHS – 2700 EU nurses left the health service in 2016, a 68% increase from 2014. The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) blames the loss of foreign staff on the failure of the government to provide EU nationals in Britain with any security about their future. “The government risks turning off the supply of qualified nurses from around the world at the very moment the health service is in a staffing crisis like never before,” said Janet Davies, the RCN’s general secretary. “Sadly, it is no surprise that EU staff are leaving – they have been offered no security or reassurance that they will be able to keep their jobs. Few are able to live with such uncertainty. “The government has failed to train enough British nurses and cannot afford to lose the international workforce on which the NHS so heavily relies.” There are an estimated 57,000 EU nationals working for the NHS, including 10,000 doctors and 20,000 nurses.

‘ The government has failed to train enough British nurses and cannot afford to lose the international workforce on which the NHS so heavily relies.’ — Janet Davies, Royal College of Nursing THE LAMP MAY 2017 | 33



Penalty rate cuts will cost government $650 million The Australia Institute says penalty rate cuts along with increased welfare demands could cost the Commonwealth budget $650 million over four years. The thinktank warns the cut in penalty rates will see personal income tax receipts decline – and a rise in claims for welfare payments – with the budgetary impact worth hundreds of millions of dollars a year. The institute’s chief economist, Richard Denniss, says the Sunday penalty rate cuts will inevitably impact on income tax receipts, with a reduction in tax revenue for the government worth $164.2m per year, or $656.8m over four years. The institute’s figures are conservatively based on the government’s lowest estimate that 285,000 workers will lose an average of $2,744 a year from the penalty rate cuts. Denniss says the cutting of wages for low-paid workers may also lead to a significant increase in welfare spending. He estimates that if 20% of those 285,000 workers already receive welfare payments, the increase in welfare spending could be $78.2m a year.

Richard Denniss

‘ If 20% of those 285,000 workers already receive welfare payments, the increase in welfare spending could be $78.2m a year.’ UNITED STATES

Trump aims to “explode” Obamacare by stealth The Trump administration failed to enact legislation to repeal Obamacare but there are other strategies in play to kill it off by stealth.


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After the Republicans pulled their legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act (commonly known as Obamacare) President Trump told The Washington Post: “The best thing politically is to let Obamacare explode.” In The New York Times (March 2017), commentator Steven Rattner pointed out what Trump meant was that there are other avenues to undermine Obamacare: “The stealth battle began on Inauguration Day, when Mr. Trump signed an executive order giving his agencies wide latitude to weaken the law. “Almost immediately, the

Department of Health and Human Services scaled back advertising aimed at encouraging people to enrol in a health insurance plan by the 31 January deadline for 2017. “Next, the Internal Revenue Service announced that it would continue to allow taxpayers to file their returns without indicating whether they had complied with the mandate to have insurance.” Rattner argues that much more is on the way. “This month, Tom Price, the secretary of the Health and Human Services Department, tweeted: “There are 1,442 citations in the #ACA where it says. ‘The secretary shall…’ or ‘The secretary may…’ @HHSGov; we’ll look at every single one.”

‘ The best thing politically is to let “Obamacare” explode’ — President Trump



A stronger role for nurses in diabetes treatment A new model of healthcare that focuses on a stronger role for nurses in primary care has been associated with a higher uptake of insulin treatment among patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D) according to a study published in The British Medical Journal (March).


The struggle to eat well in remote communities Thirty per cent of Aboriginal kids and 65 per cent of adults are overweight or obese and the high cost of fresh food in remote areas is a major factor. Unhealthy discretionary (“junk”) foods that are high in salt, fat or sugar make up more than 41 per cent of the energy intake of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in Australia according to the ABS NATSINPAS survey. This “indicates that access to affordable and nutritious food is an ongoing problem in many regional and remote Indigenous communities”, writes Dr Melissa Stoneham in Croakey (March 2017). “The (survey) reinforces that ‘empty calorie’ processed foods can be obtained at a relatively low price, compared with the high expense of fresh nutrient-rich foods (fruit, vegetables, lean meats, fish, dairy and whole-grain cereals). “It is therefore not unexpected that cheap, refined carbohydrates and processed foods make up the bulk of the diet available to most people living in remote Indigenous communities.” Another study by the Menzies School of Health Research found that “affordability is one of the key drivers in food choice generally but the cost of food is high and incomes are low in many Aboriginal communities”.

NUTRITIONAL CHALLENGES IN REMOTE COMMUNITIES • On average, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people consume 41% of their daily energy in the form of discretionary foods — such as cakes, biscuits and pastries and soft drinks. • Average daily sugar consumption is 111g — the equivalent of 18tsp of white sugar. • 2 2% of Aboriginal people reported running out of food and being unable to afford more in the past 12 months. Source: Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet Overview

In “The Stepping Up” program, nurses lead insulin treatment initiation among patients within the practice as a part of routine care. British, US, Australian and European guidelines recommend early adoption of insulin treatment to improve long-term outcomes. However, insulin initiation is often delayed, particularly in primary care, because of barriers in clinical practice. “By focusing on an enhanced role for the practice nurse, who is trained and mentored by a registered nurse with diabetes educator credentials, the model uses existing resources within the practice in a bid to improve outcomes,” said Professor John Furler from the University of Melbourne who led a research team that evaluated the effectiveness of the model. The study compared patients enrolled in an intervention group where they had consultations with the practice nurse as part of the Stepping Up Model, with a control group where patients received usual healthcare. In total, 266 patients took part and were based across 74 practices in Australia. The results show the model was associated with significantly higher rates of insulin initiation: 105/151 (70%) patients starting insulin, compared with 25/115 (22%) in control practices. “After 12 months, we found that patients had significantly better HbA1c levels (an important measure of glucose in the blood), which is associated with better long-term outcomes,” Associate Professor Furler said. In Australia, over one million people have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and 1 in 34 adults are estimated to have undiagnosed diabetes.

‘ The results show the model was associated with significantly higher rates of insulin initiation.’ THE LAMP MAY 2017 | 35


what’s ON Aged CAre Nurses Forum – 1 Day n Tweed Heads Wednesday 10 May Forum Theme: Elder Abuse Members: $50 | non-members: $75 Are you meetiNg your CPd requiremeNts? – ½ Day n NewcasTle Wednesday 10 May n PorT Macquarie Tuesday 23 May n arMidale Tuesday 20 June An essential ½ day workshop for all nurses and midwives to learn about CPD requirements and what’s involved in the process. Members: $40 | non-members: $85

EnrollEd nursEs’ Forum Friday 26 May • Waterloo

LegAL ANd ProFessioNAL issues For Nurses ANd midwives – ½ Day

n NewcasTle Thursday 11 May n PorT Macquarie Wednesday 24 May n arMidale Wednesday 21 June Learn about potential liability, disciplinary tribunals, NMC and HCCC complaints, Coroners Court, and more. Members: $40 | non-members: $85

tooLs iN mANAgiNg CoNFLiCt & disAgreemeNt – 1 Day

n ParraMaTTa Friday 12 May Members: $85 | non-members: $170

mediCAtioN sAFety For Nurses & midwives – ½ Day

n waTerloo Thursday 18 May Members: $40 | non-members: $85

PrACtiCAL skiLLs mANAgiNg diFFiCuLt ANd Aggressive CLieNts – 1 Day n waTerloo Wednesday 31 May Members: $85 | non-members: $170

PoLiCy ANd guideLiNe writiNg For Nurses ANd midwives – 1 Day n liverPool Friday 9 June Members: $85 | non-members: $170

the iNFLueNtiAL thought LeAders iN LeAdiNg – 1 Day

Earn some valuable CPD hours prior to 31 May! Hear from a range of speakers, network with colleagues and share experiences across the enrolled nursing profession.

program • Clinical Handover: Best practice methods for you and your patients • Defensive Documentation: Getting the best from report writing • Bullying: What does it mean and what can I do about it? • Mindfulness for Nurses: Attain the value of mindfulness in practice • The Australian College of Nursing: Education Opportunities for ENs

n waTerloo Monday 19 June Target Group: New Managers, Senior Managers, Senior RNs/ RMs, DONs, DDONs Members: $125 | non-members: $225


Please also see page 28 for details of the FREE Financial Wellness Seminars that we are running across the state.

Lunch and refreshments provided

Register online

50 O’Dea Avenue Waterloo

9am to 4pm

Members $30 Non-Members $60

Click on the education tab. Scroll down to the education session you would like to register into and click Register Online. For enquiries contact NSWNMA • Metro: 8595 1234 • Rural: 1300 367 962



Judith Breaking News Public sector unions recently received a presentation on the NSW Intergenerational Report 2016, which provides a snap shot of how the NSW economy and fiscal position could evolve over the next 40 years. Not surprisingly, health will play an even more critical role for government (and its budget) to ensure the wellbeing of our families, local communities, and society in general. Not surprisingly, the report found that increasing health demands and costs have and will continue to occur due to higher community expectations, advances in health technology, and ageing. The report noted that average health expenses per person aged over 65 is around three times higher than for those less than 65 years. While people are remaining healthy for longer, increases in life expectancy are likely to lead to increases in “both healthy and unhealthy years lived”. The report concluded that health expenses are expected to grow even faster over the next decade or two before ageing pressures abate slightly and population growth slows in the 2030s. And before the privatisation enthusiasts wheel out their discredited criticisms of the public health system and its ability to manage such demands effectively, the report found that NSW health services are relatively cost-effective when compared internationally. Given the right resources and systems, the NSW health service and its staff can match or exceed the best in the world. But the challenge in 40 years’ time will be made so much worse from decisions taken today that stifle inpatient and preventative care, or erode statewide synergies through hospital/ service privatisations. Access to the full report can be obtained by visiting the below link: intergenerational-report

When it comes to your rights and entitlements at work, NSWNMA Assistant General Secretary Judith Kiejda has the answers.

Floods prevent attendance at work I am a registered nurse working in a public hospital. Recently I was affected by flooding that would have prevented me from getting to work if I had been rostered. I believe the hospital was very good to those who couldn’t get to work but I was wondering what rights arose in this situation? Clause 32A of the Public Health System Nurses’ and Midwives’ (State) Award 2015 recognises that in such situations, access to FACS leave is available as follows: (4). In a case of pressing necessity (e.g. where an employee is unable to attend work because of adverse weather conditions which either prevent attendance or threaten life or property…) The Award and the relevant NSW Health Policy Directive (PD2014_029 – Leave Matters for the NSW Health Service) also contemplate that when FACS Leave is exhausted, an employee may request to access other leave they have accrued. However, members and the branch should always contact their hospital in such emergencies or declared disasters, as access to Special Leave on a case-by-case basis has in the past been made available by Local Health Districts, something that NNSWLHD – to their credit – did in the recent Lismore floods. NOTE: Special Leave is available for those who are working in the SES (for example) during a declared disaster.

Next pay increase at Ramsay hospital I work in a hospital operated by Ramsay. When is the next pay increase due? The next pay increase (on this occasion 2.5%) in the Ramsay Health Care Australia Pty Limited, and NSW Nurses & Midwives’

Association/ANMF Enterprise Agreement 2015-2018 will occur in the first full pay period on or after 1 July 2017. Please note that allowances (as set out in Schedule B of the agreement) will also change in the same fashion.

Notice of roster and breaks at Uniting I work at an aged care facility operated by Uniting. I am permanent part-time. How much notice should I be provided of my roster? Also, what are my rights to a meal break? Clause 26.1 of the Uniting Care Aged Care Residential & Community Services Agreement (NSW) 2014-2017 sets out that the ordinary hours of work shall normally be displayed two weeks prior to the commencing date of the roster. It should be in a place conveniently accessible to employees. Under clause 27 of the agreement, employees shall not be required to work more than five hours without a meal break. Such meal break shall be between 30 and 60 minutes duration and does not count as time worked.

Pay for on call during a meal break I work at a nursing home operated by Opal. As part of the working arrangements, I am required to remain available for duty during my meal break. What should I be paid for this? Under Clause 30.1 of the Opal Aged Care (NSW) Enterprise Agreement 2016, employees required to remain available for duty during a meal break will be paid an on call during meal break allowance (currently $11.15). Only one such allowance will be paid in a 24-hour period. However, if you are then recalled to work during the meal break, then overtime will be paid for all time worked during the meal break. THE LAMP MAY 2017 | 37



REGULARSnurses & midwives’ short film festival

Winners are grinners!

Short Story & Poetry Competition

Tuesday 23 May 2017 SHORT STORY & POETRY COMPETITION • 5PM Winning writers will be announced & prizes awarded • 6PM Cocktail Party

Let’s acknowledge and celebrate the unique creativity of nurses and midwives and make it a night to remember!

• 7PM

2017 SHORT FILM FESTIVAL Screening of finalists’ films followed by the announcement of winners and presentation of prizes

Walk down the red carpet in your most fabulous outfit.


$15 for members and associate members $20 for non-members

VENUE: GADIGAL AUDITORIUM NSWNMA 50 O’Dea Avenue, Waterloo 2017 (parking available). BOOKINGS ESSENTIAL BY NO LATER THAN 17 MAY 2017: 38 | THE LAMP MARCH 2017



Do you have a story to tell? An opinion to share? Nurse Uncut is a blog written by everyday nurses and midwives. We welcome your ideas at

New on our Support Nurses YouTube channel

MANLY BRANCH MEETS Demoralised, uncertain, no info.

Vietnam volunteer: using an old remedy for pressure sores New grad: My first ward tested every part of me Alexa landed in a toxic environment for her very first new grad rotation – and it nearly broke her. au/new-grad-nurse-my-first-wardtested-every-part-of-me/

Follow us on twitter @nswnma / @nurseuncut Share on Instagram by tagging @nswnma and don’t forget to use the hashtag #nswnma!

Should I start nursing studies at age 59? Does Paul have enough time to study and then start a nursing career? Will he get a job? should-i-start-nursing-at-age-59/

BOWRAL COMMUNITY MEETS Keeping their hospital public. Connect with us on Facebook Nurse Uncut www.facebook. com/NurseUncutAustralia New South Wales Nurses and Midwives’ Association Ratios put patient safety first safepatientcare Aged Care Nurses agedcarenurses Look for your local branch on our Facebook page

Confronted with stage 4 pressure sores in a young woman, nurse volunteer Susan was able to improvise with an old remedy.

Renewing your nursing or midwifery registration: CPD requirements What counts as CPD – what records must you keep? http://www.nurseuncut.

Nursing’s tough but I wouldn’t do anything else After six months of stress and depression on her first ward, Alexa moves on to something better. How did she get through?

Tips for new nurses What do you wish you’d been told when you first started nursing? what-are-your-tips-for-new-nurses/

Renewing your registration: criminal disclosure What exactly must you notify AHPRA about in terms of criminal charges and when do you need to make that notification? au/renewing-your-nursing-andmidwifery-registration-criminaldisclosure/

Listen to our podcast GREENER HOSPITALS A webinar. THE LAMP MAY 2017 | 39

Going to work shouldn’t mean stepping into this.

ARE YOU A VICTIM OF WORKPLACE VIOLENCE? Have you or a colleague been assaulted at work? Have you reported your incident?

Download the NSWNMA App and report your workplace violence incident. The NSWNMA has a new tool as part of our NSWNMA Toolkit App that allows you to quickly report an incident to the Association as soon as it happens. It’s an easy fillable form that you can submit from your mobile device and an officer of the Association will be in touch with you. Nursing is considered one of the most dangerous professions. HELP STOP VIOLENCE AT WORK!

40 | THE LAMP MARCH 2017

NSWNMA Toolkit App is FREE and available to download from iTunes and Google Play store




What nurses and midwives said and liked on Facebook

to say move somewhere cheaper, but the work isn’t necessarily there. I love how people think moving out to rural areas is easy. First, there’s the cost of moving. Second, humans are social creatures. No way am I moving away from my family/support network. Nursing is a stressful job, we need support.

The crazy cost of shelter The Telegraph featured a registered nurse whose chances of saving to buy a home are extremely slender. The house he shares with four others is ‘only’ $900 a week. Are you in the same boat?

I see older nurses who own nothing, I would love to see subsidised housing. Not every nurse who rents and works in central Sydney can move to the country. The problem is the lack of affordable housing and the greed which is driving house-price inflation. I live in a rural area – all the new grads move to the city because the hospitals in this area either a) don’t hire new grads or b) only have 14 positions for the 108 graduates. People continue

I have delivered a baby in the sac. Legend has it that a baby born in the caul will never drown! I helped a baby being born in the caul, the parents opened it up, it was magic to be a witness to that special occasion.

I work at least one overtime shift a week on top of my full-time shift work to try to save for a house. Exhausting is an understatement but what other options do we have?



I am a carer/AiN in a country town, not a hope in hell for me to ever own my own home.

The stressed state of our EDs

Fingers crossed that there’s overtime tonight so I can work 18 hours straight in the hope that one day I can own my own home! Nurses are required to service city hospitals. So moving to cheaper areas isn’t always going to be the answer. On a single income, to purchase now even an hour out of the city is becoming out of reach.

the gallery

Magical beginnings We showed a video of a baby born in the sac and asked: Have you ever seen a caul birth? They’re incredibly rare, but we’re sure the midwives out there could tell us a bit about them! I’m so glad I got the privilege to assist in a birth like this in my time as a midwife. Actually, I was privileged to be a part of quite a few rare birthing moments that will stay with me forever. I’m in my final year at uni (dual mid/nursing) and one of my mums almost had a vaginal caul birth. Baby’s head came out but as the shoulders came through the sac broke. Still one of the most amazing experiences I’ve had to date.

Staff are putting in a herculean effort to maintain performance measures in NSW hospitals, with more and sicker patients presenting to EDs. Are you approaching breaking point?



The freeze on Medicare and less doctors bulk billing may have something to do with more people going to ED. We have what we call minisac, where the hospital is so full we have to put people in our busy and noisy recovery room overnight because there are no beds anywhere else. Horrible for the poor patients and horrible for the staff. This happens about once a week in summer and 3-4 days a week in spring and autumn and every night in winter. It will get much worse when they sell Wyong.


1/ NSWNMA held a pizza lunch for 1st years at UNE. 2/ Lyn from regional Yass. 3/ Shari addresses a community meeting on privatisation. 4/ Disability nurses meet the new minister to fill him in on the harm of privatisation. 5/ Enrolled nursing students in the @ nswnma Insta frame!

THE LAMP MAY 2017 | 41


The Edith Cavell Trust

Scholarships for the academic year 2018 Applications for the Edith Cavell Trust Scholarships are now being accepted for the academic year 2018. Members or Associate Members of the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association or the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (NSW Branch) are invited to apply. All grants, awards or loans shall be made to financially assist nurses, midwives, assistants in nursing, assistants in midwifery (including students of those disciplines), and accredited nursing or midwifery organisations, schools and faculties in the furtherance of: (i) accredited nursing or midwifery studies; (ii) such academic research programs as are approved by the Trustees in the theory or practice of nursing or midwifery work; or (iii) clinical nursing education programs at graduate, post-graduate and continuing education professional development level; in accordance with a number of categories. Full details of the scholarship categories, how to apply and to obtain the official application form is available from the NSWNMA website. Prior to applying, please ensure you have read the Edith Cavell Trust Scholarship Rules.

Applications close 5pm on 31 July 2017

WWW.NSWNMA.ASN.AU – click on ‘Education’ For further information contact: Scholarship Coordinator – The Edith Cavell Trust, 50 O’Dea Avenue, Waterloo, NSW 2017 T 1300 367 962 E

Family Planning NSW

Upcoming courses for nurses NEW Reproductive and Sexual Health Course for Midwives 90 CPD hours

Increase your ability to provide holistic care for women and their families during their reproductive years with this course written by midwives for midwives. Specifically focused at midwives and registered nurses working in and around the maternity field, this is a 16-week blended learning program which includes a 2 day interactive workshop and online learning modules. Online course commences 24th July 2017 • Workshop Ashfield (Sept 2017)

Clinical Forum/Nurse Education Day 7 CPD hours

Update your knowledge on the latest in reproductive and sexual health at one-day forums for nurses and other health professionals. Ballina: 22 July • Newcastle: 18 August • Wagga Wagga: 11 Nov

Reproductive and Sexual Health Clinical Accreditation Program

A 21-week clinical program that prepares nurses and midwives for extended clinical roles in the specialty of reproductive and sexual health. Integrate theory into practice through simulation, observation and a four day clinical placement. Successful completion gives Recognised Prior Learning for UTS Grad Cert in Advanced Nursing Practice. Scholarships are available for participants from regional areas. Ashfield: June 2017 • Hunter: October 2017

Now taking enrolments. For more information or to enrol now, visit or email 42 | THE LAMP MAY 2017


The Journey to Reconciliation On the 27th May we recognise the 50th anniversary of the referendum on the Constitution Alteration (Aboriginals) 1967. Over 90 per cent of Australians voted in the referendum and a majority in each state approved two constitutional amendments relating to Aboriginal Australians. One amendment resulted in the inclusion of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders in the census and the other enabled the Federal Parliament to make laws relating to them. There is still a long way to go, but it is worth recalling the background to this significant milestone in our continuing journey toward Reconciliation. Wave Hill walk-off, 1966-75 In August 1966, Aboriginal pastoral workers walked off the job on the vast Vesteys cattle station at Wave Hill in the Northern Territory. At first, they expressed their unhappiness with their poor working conditions and disrespectful treatment.

Conversations between stockmen who had worked for Vesteys and Dexter Daniels, the North Australian Workers’ Union Aboriginal organiser, led to the initial walk-off. The next year the group moved to Wattle Creek, a place of significance to the Gurindji people. They asked the author Frank Hardy to ‘make a sign’ that included the word ‘Gurindji’– their own name. Their disaffection was deeper than wages and working conditions. Although these stockmen and their families could not read, they understood the power of the white man’s signs. Now their name, written on a sign, asserted a claim to Gurindji lands. Following the walk-off by Aboriginal pastoral workers employed on Vesteys’ Wave Hill station, the Gurindji men had important conversations amongst themselves and with both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal supporters. Vincent Lingiari, Mick Rangiari (also known as Hoppy Mick), Lupna Giari (also known as Captain Major), Pincher Manguari (also known as Pincher Nyurrmiyari) and others voiced their discontent at working for Vesteys. They decided they would not return. Among the supporters to speak with these stockmen were Dexter Daniels, the Aboriginal organiser for the North Australian Workers Union, Brian Manning, a founding member of the Northern Territory Council for Aboriginal Rights, the Federal Council for the Advancement of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders and some unions. In addition, the communist author Frank Hardy went to the Northern Territory in June 1966. He spent time with the strikers camped at the welfare settlement and became involved in trying to understand their grievances. At this stage, most white supporters were unionists, members of the Communist Party of Australia, or others engaged in addressing economic injustice. These Aboriginal workers were not eligible for the safeguards provided to other workers through the industrial relations system. However, the focus on economic injustice initially prevented many white supporters from understanding the deeper matters that concerned the Gurindji. hill_walk_off,_1966-75

‘ We bin here longa time before them Vestey mob.’ — Vincent Lingiari Australia’s 1967 Referendum In the 1960s Faith Bandler was a leading activist for Aboriginal rights. She describes a long and wellorganised struggle for the 1967 referendum and the reasons for it.! media/29241/?id=29241

Freedom Rides Living Black s2015 Ep2 Freedom Rides revisits the journey made 50 years ago by a group of university students led by Aboriginal activist Charles Perkins, who set off on a bus ride around regional NSW to expose racism and prejudice.

Campaigning for a YES vote The usual practice when a question is put at referendum is for the arguments for and against the change to be set out for voters. In this case, however, the changes were supported by all major parties so no opposing case was presented. Churches came out in favour of a YES vote. Aboriginal spokespeople gained effective media coverage throughout the campaign. The government supported the passage of the referendum but it had no plans for change. Their campaign was driven by the view that the vote for change needed to be overwhelming in order to persuade the federal government that it had a responsibility to use the power provided by the amendment. referendum,_1957-67/campaigning_for_a_yes_vote THE LAMP MAY 2017 | 43



nline o s l i a ate your membership det aw to win r d e t o t n i & go

5-NIGHT BATEMANS BAY ESCAPE Eurobodalla, land of many waters, sits less than 4 hours’ drive south of Sydney and 2 hours east of Canberra on the NSW South Coast. Eurobodalla is over 110kms of unspoilt beauty. The region is known for award-winning Montague Island; home to thousands of fur seals and colonies of penguins, 83 spectacular beaches and ancient headlands, four major rivers and vast tracts of wilderness, national parks and forest. Abundant wildlife dominates the visitor experience, while vibrant communities and the picturesque historic and coastal villages connect the main towns of Batemans Bay, Moruya and Narooma. UPDATE YOUR DETAILS ONLINE AT WWW.NSWNMA.ASN.AU AND YOU WILL AUTOMATICALLY BE ENTERED IN THE DRAW TO WIN A 5-NIGHT ESCAPE FOR TWO TO BATEMANS BAY. You and a friend will stay at Corrigans Cove for 5 nights in a gorgeous pool view room with continental breakfast daily. This fantastic package also includes dinner for two on two nights of your stay at Corrigans Cove; entry for two to the fantastic Mogo Zoo; and a double pass to the Original Gold Rush Colony Mogo.

VALU ED AT $150 0.

For your chance to win, simply login online at to register or update your details. You can now change your details at a time that suits you, pay membership fees online, print a tax statement, or request a reprint of your membership card – it’s simple! All members who use our online portal from 1 December 2016 until 30 June 2017 will automatically be entered in to the draw to win this fantastic escape. *Conditions apply. Rooms subject to availability. Prize must be redeemed by June 2018 and is not valid for use during school holidays or public holidays. The prize is non-redeemable for cash or any unused portion of the prize. Competition entries from NSWNMA members only and limited to one entry per member. Competition opens 1 December 2016 and closes 30 June 2017. The prize is drawn on 1 July 2017. If a redraw is required for an unclaimed prize it must be held up to 3 months from the original draw date. NSW Permit no: LTPM/17/01625 44 | THE LAMP MARCH 2017


test your

Knowledge 1










10 12


13 15 17


18 20


21 22



25 26


29 31


30 32



ACROSS 1. Survival of the fittest (8.8) 9. Regarding excess levels of urea and other nitrogenous material in blood (7) 11. The dorsal part of the arch of the foot (6) 12. Inflammation of the aorta (8) 13. Antidiuretic hormone (1.1.1) 14. A physical quantity specified by a single number, such as mass or temperature (6)

15. Locates in a specific region of a chromosome to known genes or DNA sequences (4) 16. The tubular structure which connects the larynx to the primary bronchi (7) 18. Repetitive periods without breathing, occurring during sleep (5.6) 20. Suffering from bulimia nervosa (7) 22. Having no amnion (10)

24. A partition between two areas (7) 25. Attached to (2) 26. Not having the expected height (10) 28. A deep, loud voice (3.4) 31. Secretions of tears (12) 34. Nerve fibres of the spinal cord that do not extend beyond the limits of the spinal cord segment in which they originate (10.6)

DOWN 1. A congenital defect in closure of the bony encasement of the spinal cord or of the skull (6.4.6) 2. Introduction of a tracheal catheter via a cutaneous incision between two tracheal rings (8.6) 3. Replay (7) 4. A small reddish body at the medial angle of the eye (8.8) 5. Web spinners (10) 6. Enrolling compulsorily into service; drafting (12) 7. Caused by a stroke or seizure (5) 8. Deposition of calcium phosphate in the renal tubules, resulting in renal insufficiency (16) 10. Interosseous (1.1) 11. Internet Information Services (1.1.1) 17. Electrospray ionisation (1.1.1) 19. A painful, syphilitic bone disease (9) 21. Minimal infecting dose (1.1.1) 23. A view or aspect; profile (5) 27. An antiviral drug used in combination with other drugs for the treatment of HIV infection (1.1.1) 29. Prefix meaning oil (4) 30. Symbol for radium (2) 32. Membrane attack complex (1.1.1) 33. Transient hypogammaglobulinemia of infancy (1.1.1)

THE LAMP MAY 2017 | 45




THE 2016 – 2017 NSWNMA MEMBER RECRUITMENT SCHEME PRIZE The winner will experience all the style and comfort of a luxury retreat with the warmest of country welcomes. A four night (midweek) stay for two with: • Wine and Cheese plate on arrival; • Breakfast daily; • 2 x 2 course lunches; • 2 x 3 course dinners; • 2 x 60 minute facial or massage for 2 guests (4 in total) • 4 wheel drive tour for 2 guests. 46 | THE LAMP MARCH 2017

The NSWNMA will arrange return flights for two from Sydney to Brisbane and car hire for the duration of the prize. Spicers Retreat Hidden Vale is a gem, an uncomplicated escape just an hour’s drive from Brisbane. Experience the uniquely revitalising effect of spending time on 12,000 acres of true Australia bush. Space to relax. Space to listen, to laugh and to embark on an adventure amongst the abundant wildlife. Every member you sign up over the year gives you an entry in the draw!


Join online at If you refer a member to join online, make sure you ask them to put your name and workplace on the online application form. You will then be entitled to your vouchers and entry in the NSWNMA Recruitment Incentive scheme. SPICERSRETREATS .COM

Conditions apply. Prize must be redeemed by 30 June 2018 and is for stays outside of School Holiday periods, midweek (Monday to Thursday). Competition opens on 1 August 2016 and closes 30 June 2017. The prize will be drawn on 30 June 2017. If a redraw is required for an unclaimed prize it must be held up to 3 months from the original draw date. NSW Permit no: LTPM/17/01625.

REVIEWS DISCOUNT BOOKS FOR MEMBERS The Library is pleased to announce that McGraw Hill Publishers are now offering members a 25% discount off the RRP! The offer currently covers medical as well as a range of other professional series books. Please see the online Book Me reviews for a link to the promotion code and further instructions, or contact the Library directly for further information.





One Woman’s War is a truly inspirational autobiography of courage and determination told by a Tasmanian-born nurse who traces her experiences with a 16-year stint in the Royal Australian Air force.



By Sharon Brown (retired Wing Commander) Exisle Publishing RRP $29.99. ISBN 9781925335316


One Woman’s War And Peace: A Nurse’s Journey In The Royal Australian Airforce



book club

All the latest Book Club reviews from The Lamp can be read online at


Sharon Brown suffered terrible injuries following a horrific helicopter crash that left her with a broken back and shattered jaw, as well as graphic nightmares. The book lays bare her emotions as she copes with her family responsibilities, the loss of her mother to cancer and the death of her father, a policeman for 30 years, who was shot several times. She also shares her love of duty to provide humanitarian aid to the world. This is a story that will inspire and encourage readers to lead within their own lives.

Healthcare Writing: A Practical Guide To Professional Success Michael Arntfield and James Johnston

Broadview Press (available through Footprint Books): au RRP $59.95. ISBN 9781554812295

This textbook is refreshingly non-prescriptive, and can easily be adapted to existing teaching across healthcare programs while meeting the needs of the novices and experts alike. Its objective is to reach students enrolled in university or college-level healthcare programs, healthcare communication specialists, as well as current clinical practitioners seeking a portable reference guide.

Psychiatry (3rd Edition) Neel Burton

Acheron Press (available through Footprint Books): au RRP $89.00. ISBN 9780992912741

This third edition of Psychiatry is a concise yet comprehensive textbook of mental health for medical students, junior doctors, general practitioners, mental health nurses, social workers, clinical psychologists, anthropologists, and anyone else needing or wishing for a fresh, modern,

and engaging account of mental disorders. The author aims to make psychiatry come alive by highlighting some of its more interesting or thoughtprovoking aspects, and to challenge the stigmatism of mental disorders that continues to prevail even among healthcare professionals.

The Everything Guide To Integrative Pain Management Tracie Stein

Karen Cooper Publisher (available from Fishpond: ) RRP $ 27.95. ISBN 9781440589706

The Everything Guide to Integrative Pain Management is a must read for anyone who suffers with chronic pain. The author discusses the different options for managing pain with an integrative plan, incorporating traditional medications with natural pain relief solutions. Because of the invisibility of chronic pain, it has unique social, interpersonal and occupational costs. Friends, family, co-workers, and even healthcare providers who might otherwise be sympathetic to an observable medical issue may be baffled by or doubtful of a condition that is both debilitating and unseen. It is hoped that this book can be used as a starting point to expand your ideas of healing and personal wellness, practice good self-care, communicate your needs effectively, and create the healthcare team that is best suited to you, as an individual.

RESPIRATORY CARE: ASSESSMENT AND MANAGEMENT Deborah Duncan M&K Publishing: https://www.mkupdate. RRP $POA. ISBN 9781910451021

This textbook offers a holistic and practical approach to caring for a patient with a respiratory disease. It starts with an overview of the respiratory system; the author then discusses history taking, and the physical assessment and secondary tests needed to assess a patient with an undiagnosed respiratory condition. The chapters that follow examine the study of the causes, assessment and management of specific acute and chronic conditions, as well as a chapter on the pharmacology of respiratory disease. Finally, the author looks at intermediate, home-based and end-of-life care.

All books can be ordered through the publisher or your local bookshop. NSWNMA members can borrow the books featured here via the Library’s Online Catalogue: visit http:// Call 8595 1234 or 1300 367 962, or email for assistance with loans or research. Some books are reviewed using information supplied and have not been independently reviewed. THE LAMP MAY 2017 | 47







Autumn is here. Keep warm in NSWNMA winter favourites which are not only stylish & comfortable,but also affordable & sold at cost to members. 1 CLEARANCE! Navy Bonded Polar Fleece Vests $15. Quantity:






2 Navy Hoodies $40. Quantity: Size:

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3 Red Hoodies $40. Quantity: Size:

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Postage and Handling $5 per item. Total cost of order $





FAX (02) 9662 1414 POST NSWNMA, 50 O’Dea Ave. Waterloo NSW 2017



at the movies




Not quite the happiest day of everybody else’s life Think of every awkward encounter you’ve had at a wedding, and the chances are this movie will cover it. From questionable dance moves from the mother of the bride to being subjected to long-winded speeches, Table 19 reminds us of every wedding we have ever attended where we have woken up slightly foggy and are left with strange photos on our phone. Emily, played by Anna Kendrick of Pitch Perfect has been heavily demoted from Table 1 to Table 19 as her exboyfriend (who is also the bride’s brother), breaks up with her over a text message. As painful as it is to attend a wedding reception that features your ex as the best man, it is even harder to see him clearly moving on with the maid of honour. Nevertheless, Emily is determined to attend to support her best friend on the happiest day of her life. The rest of Emily’s seatmates in Table 19 have their own personal battles that become more evident as the canapés and champagne are rolled out.

It is almost inevitable that you would find yourself falling in love with one of the many quirky characters that grace this more-than-meets-the-eye movie. From Walter (Stephen Merchant of Logan and The Office) who tries very hard to appear normal, but instead manages to fail in every kind of way to Bina (Lisa Kudrow of Friends) and Jerry Kepp (Craig Robinson of Hot Tub Time Machine) whose strained marriage is magnified in front of strangers. Meanwhile, Jo (June Squibb of Nebraska) struggles as the forgotten ex-nanny of the bride. Throughout the movie, you can feel Jo’s pain as she comes to the realisation that she is no more than a distant memory to the children she spent years caring for. Renzo (Tony Revolori of The Grand Budapest Hotel) on the other hand manages to play the most desperate teenager that tries every imaginable (horrible) pick up line to get himself a girlfriend for the weekend. The movie will remind you, that even if you think you’re feeling lost and alone, there will always be someone going through the exact same thing. Here’s to hoping that the revelation comes during an event that serves unlimited alcohol and cake at the end of the day.
















Table 19

Esther Guerrero, CNS at Children’s Hospital Westmead, enjoys the quirky characters struggling at the periphery of a wedding in Table 19. If you would like to be a movie reviewer, email



Schitts Creek Seasons 1, 2 & 3 When filthy-rich video store magnate Johnny Rose (Eugene Levy, American Pie), his soap star wife Moira (Catherine O’Hara, Home Alone) and their two kids, über-hipster son David (Dan Levy) and socialite daughter Alexis suddenly find themselves broke, they are forced to leave their pampered lives to regroup and rebuild their empire from within the rural city limits of their only remaining asset – Schitt’s Creek, an arm pit of a town they once bought as a joke.

Email The Lamp by the 15th of the month to be in the draw to win a DVD of Schitts Creek S1, 2 & 3 thanks to RLJ Entertainment handled by NIXCO. Email your name, membership number, address and telephone number to lamp@nswnma. for a chance to win! Email The Lamp by the 12th of the month to be in the draw to win a double pass to Table 19 thanks to 20th Century Fox. Email your name, membership number, address and telephone number to lamp@ for a chance to win! THE LAMP MAY 2017 | 49


make a date

Diary Dates for conferences, seminars, meetings, and reunions is a free service for members.

EVENTS: NSW 2nd International Day of the Midwife Conference 5 May 2017 Twin Towns Services Club, Tweed Heads Contact the Midwifery Society: 2017 Westmead Women’s and Newborn Health Conference 5-6 May 2017 Education and Conference Centre, Westmead Hospital WSLHD-Women&newbornhealth@health. Nepean Blue Mountains Nursing and Midwifery Research & Practice Development Conference 12 May 2017, Penrith Panthers Contact Alicia Cianflone on alicia. Melanoma: Understanding Treatments and Implications for Nurses 24 May 2017 Melanoma Institute Australia, Wollstonecraft The SALINE Process 27 May 2017, Robert Menzies College, Ryde Strengthening Dementia Strategy 30-31 May 2017 Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel, Sydney event/dementia17/ Resus at the Park 1-2 June 2017, Luna Park, Sydney 4th International Collaboration of Perianaesthesia Nurses [ICPAN] Conference 1-4 November 2017 Luna Park, Sydney Drug and Alcohol Nurses of Australasia’s Nursing Forum 11 August 2017, Sydney EVENTS: INTERSTATE ACN National Nurses Breakfast 2017 Friday 12 May 2017 acn-national-nurses-breakfast-2017 Australian & New Zealand Addiction Conference 15-16 May 2017 Gold Coast ch/11035/2wwb1r9/2042597/6ddb9j9tz. html

50 | THE LAMP MAY 2017

Please send event details in the format used here: event name, date and location, contact details – by the 5th of each preceding month. Send your event details to: Fax 02 9662 1414 Post 50 O’Dea Ave, Waterloo NSW 2017. All listings are edited for the purposes of style and space. Priority is given to non-profit professional events.

Maternal Child and Family Health Nurses Australia 1-3 June 2017 The Peninsula, Docklands, Melbourne No More Harm National Conference 26-27 June 2017 Brisbane 4th National Eating Disorders and Obesity Conference 7-8 August 2017 Gold Coast 18th International Mental Health Conference 21-23 August 2017 Gold Coast The Art and Science of Spiritual Care October 2017 Adelaide 20th ACM National Conference 2017 30 October – 2 November Adelaide EVENTS: INTERNATIONAL Patient Safety Congress 4-5 July 2017, Manchester, UK 6th World Congress of Clinical Safety 6-8 September 2017 Rome, Italy 8th International Nursing and Midwifery Student Conference in Spiritual Care: Spiritual Care – A resource in nursing 21-22 September 2017 Copenhagen, Denmark IHF 41st World Hospital Congress 7 October – 9th November Taipei International Convention Centre, Taiwan https://ihfnews.files.wordpress. com/2017/01/ihf-tapei-call-for-abstracts11jan17.pdf 10th European Congress on Violence in Clinical Psychiatry 26-28 October 2017 Crown Plaza, Dublin, Ireland ECVCP/index.html 4th Commonwealth Nurses and Midwives Conference 12 March 2018, London UK conference2018

EVENTS: REUNIONS Nurses Christian Fellowship International Nurses Day Service of Thanksgiving 7 May 2017 St Paul’s Anglican Church, Wahroonga Nurses Christian Fellowship Professional Breakfast 30 May 2017 The Ground Keepers Café, Ryde Western Suburbs Hospital Graduate Nurses Reunion Luncheon 27 May 2017 Ryde-Eastwood Leagues Club Kay Taylor: 9876 3804 Helen Cooney: 9744 8219 Royal Prince Alfred Hospital PTS March 1976 7 June 2017 Trish Walcott: 0402 159 352 25-year reunion: 1992 UWS Nepean Graduating Class July 2017, Sydney, NSW Bede McKinnon: Sydney Hospital Graduate Nurses’ Reunion Lunch 4 October 2017 Parliament House, Macquarie Street Jeanette Fox: (02) 4751 4829 or Prince of Wales, Prince Henry Hospitals PTS February 1973 class February 2018 Ross Kerr: Patricia Purdy Tamworth Base Hospital February 1976 intake 40-year reunion Contacts: Sandra Cox: sandra.cox@ hnehealth.nsw Sean O’Connor: 0408 349 126 Gerard Jeffery: 0417 664 993 CROSSWORD SOLUTION


sometimes you just want more Based on a starting income of $50,000 and a starting account balance of $50,000 HESTA has delivered $18,725 more to members than the average retail super fund over the past 10 years*. This was because of both lower fees and higher investment earnings. Issued by H.E.S.T. Australia Ltd ABN 66 006 818 695 AFSL 235249, the Trustee of Health Employees Superannuation Trust Australia (HESTA) ABN 64 971 749 321. This information is of a general nature. It does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or specific needs so you should look at your own financial position and requirements before making a decision. You may wish to consult an adviser when doing this. Before making a decision about HESTA products you should read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement (call 1800 813 327 or visit for a copy), and consider any relevant risks ( *Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance and should never be the sole factor considered when selecting a fund. Comparisons modelled by SuperRatings, commissioned by HESTA. Modelled outcome shows 10 year average difference in net benefit of the main balanced options of HESTA and 75 retail funds tracked by SuperRatings, with a 10 year performance history, taking into account historical earnings and fees – excluding contribution, entry, exit and additional adviser fees – of main balanced options. Outcomes vary between individual funds. Modelling as at 30 June 2016.

THE LAMP MARCH 2017 | 51





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52 | THE LAMP MAY 2017